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My five year old is stubborn and absolutely refuses to try anything that is not a chicken nugget!! What should I do?


Posted by Lauraine, 19th April 2021


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  • Get them to help in the kitchen. And get them to choose some items at the supermarket. Make it a fun thing


  • I had a same issue. But try to serve smaller amount of foods and reward him.


  • Try getting her to help you cook the meals, try starting with things you can taste while you’re cooking. Make it fun


  • I had a fussy toddler to and we started him on iron supplements and now he’s a different kid. Low iron causes low appetite so I’d highly recommend getting that checked as a first port of call


  • You need to persist. Serve up the same to everyone at mealtimes and don’t act like anything is abnormal. He won’t let himself starve, if he’s truly hungry he will eat. I have a fussy son and oftentimes I will serve him the leftovers from the previous night again if he doesn’t eat. He is getting better.


  • I had my niece living with me for a couple of months and she wouldn’t eat what we served up. She would be given a small plate and told to eat what she could. She refused to eat chicken so it would still be served up to her with veges and the chicken was always left. Didn’t bother me and if we had dessert after she still got her share because she’d eaten her veges. Now one of her favourite meals is roast chicken and vegetables. Go figure.


  • Just keep presenting food options for your child to try, perhaps with the favourite nuggets. Their tastes change all the time, so keep presenting food, in small amounts.


  • At a PD I went to a few years back they suggested giving the safe food (I.e. nuggets) with one food they haven’t tried yet. Offer it with no pressure for them to try it, just have it in front of them. Eventually they may try it but make sure to not try and force them or bribe them to try it.


  • If you find a solution please share! My 3 YO is hard hard work :(


  • The Dr told me its ok if they skip a meal. So I sent my son to bed with no dinner after he refused it for months. After 2 nights of a tantrum he ended up eating different things.


  • Children wont starve themselves. Supply a lot of variety and choice but nothing more then what you put on the table. There will be tantrums perhaps but you just need to stand firm. She knows that so far you have given in so she needs to learn that you will no longer give in and the food thats available tonight is whatever is on the table and thats all. If she doesnt want whats on the table then thats fine but she doesnt get anything else. Its a battle of wills and you need to win.


  • Try looking into ‘sos’ food training you an OT or speech pathologist


  • I tell my five year old daughter that that is the only food available and I won’t be cooking anything else. It’s up to her if she wants to eat or not. She ends up eating because she’s hungry but she makes a fuss most nights even though she actually enjoys most of the food.


  • My Daughter use to love her veggies . But now she won’t eat them . l know your son has to eat his Dinner you just have to try and make other things with chicken like Kiev’s / snitzles / Roast chicken seeing he likes chicken . Don’t let him tell you what to make your the parent Don’t give in stick to your gun you put a meal in front of him and say that’s for Dinner tonight believe me it’s hard but he will get Hungry enough he will start eating what you cook . Kid’s don’t get a menu for Dinner you just cook different chicken meals seeing he likes chicken . He will eat it believe me Don’t give in


  • I am having the same struggles with my 5yo and, after battling for years to get him to eat anything other than his beige diet I’ve managed to get him into an Eating Clinic run by an OT, SLP & dietician. I’m crossing everything in hopes we see some traction. Some kids just don’t subscribe to the “just hide things in a smoothie” or “they won’t starve themselves” advice you’ll get over and over from well-meaning people who just don’t understand what you’re going through.
    If you don’t want to go down the professional route (or can’t afford it), read into DIvision of Responsibility and SOS Food Therapy and see if you can incorporate them into your life.
    Good luck!


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