Posted by: thaishin | October 17, 2008

Appealing to the taste of my son

One of my friend is concerned about how much his son eats. It seems that toddler eats very little and I read that it is normal for toddler to eat very little. At the age of 3, my son is not eating much either. It is very little compared to the diet of an adult.

I used to be worried about how much he eats, now I am used to the fact that he will eat only 3 pieces of chicken nuggets together with a handful of fruit loops for lunch and a small plate of macroni cheese for dinner. Sometimes he even skip a meal but he will ask for food at a later time. That’s something good. At 3, he is able to tell me he is hungry and I will just feed him. Another friend of mine commented that his doctor advise that as long as children below 5 drink lots of milk, they are ok. A medical and parenting web site suggest giving enough milk at 16 oz per day. Normally, I just feed my son 2 cups of milk per day. And it’s vitamin D milk. The web site suggest changing vitamin D milk to 2% reduced fat milk for kids turning 2 or 3. I discussed with my wife and we decided to stick to vitamin D milk as we are worried that my son is not taking enough fat. She says he needs the fat.

Other food that I feed my son per serving includes two lengths of sausage with a handful of rice ( I would boil the sausage to remove the sodium) or two pieces of egg white (he hates egg yolk) or one scrambled egg with handful of rice (he eats the egg yolk here) or a bowl of cut corn or a couple of oreos/biscuits or a bowl of cereals (fruit loops/frosted flakes/applejacks etc) with milk or a slice of pizza or a slice of bread with spread.

I am also concerned with the quality of the food that my son eats. Besides making sure that he has enough calcium for his bones (that’s why he needs milk) , I am trying my best to make sure that he takes enough iron (important for making the red blood cells). He gets his iron from the bread. Sometimes from ice-cream. Some iron from the macaroni and cheese. Some from the cereals. The cereals and bread is nutritious with lots of vitamins and trace elements. He is getting the vitamin C from the orange juice and the chewable ascorbic acid tablet.

One of my friend’s daughter is already eating meals together with the family and she eats what they eat. But my son does not. He is a picky eater. Maybe it is because he is not eating together with us ( We feed him before or after we eat) . I tried to introduce new food to him but as long as he does not like it, he doesn’t eat. So the advice from one of our friends is true, appeal to his taste.

Maybe I am too worried. My mom who knew not too much about nutrition also raised me successfully. Except for my high cholesterol, I am quite healthy. I guess we live by faith. How much of the food that we eat gets broken down and assimilated and used in cell building as we know in microbiology is not within the control of any human being. We live by faith that what we eat is being used for the benefit of the body. Besides offering the best food that we have for our son, we live by faith that he will be healthy boy in days to come.



  1. I have totally no experience in parenting at all, but I remembered my ex-colleague recounting her experience in feeding her 3 children. She said she let her children eat with the family and when they see that everyone is eating the same dish(with the adults displaying some great satisfaction derived from the taste of the food), the kids would gradually accept the dishes on the dining table.

    Might have some truth in it though. I remembered when I was young, granny likes to cook bittergourd and I didn’t really like the taste of it. But day in day out, I will hear her saying how beneficial bittergourds are and how nice it taste. I can’t remember since when I started to love that vegetable but until now, I still think that she cooks the best bittergourd dish(stir fried with egg), but she doesn’t cook anymore.

    You know what? I miss feeding (changed to)him with baby bites biscuits, apples, grapes, bread and ribena. He got stuffed with food whenever he came over last time. =D

  2. you will see him soon enough felicia

  3. hi thai shin, i think you are already feeding your son very well.

    doctors usually says as long as your child is behaving normal, active and taking usual amount with varieties for each meal, it is perfectly fine. Sometimes at certain phase of their growth, they may need more energy, try giving them energy food, glucose or protein based, eg. banana, syrup, sweet fruits etc. Never sweets, tidbits, crackers…or ‘junk food’. Healthy snacks are given between meals, never just before or after. For kids with hyper-active syndrome, feed them with brown rice, known to release energy slowly and prevents constipation as its fibrous. White rice give sudden burst of energy and feels tired later. Less sustained energy. We feed them with all kinds of food, fruits, veg, sweet and bitter, sour or otherwise, even raw sashimi (fish) and oyster (for 6 yrs and above).

    As for meals, i feed them what’s on the table, ie. eat with adults when about 1.5 to 2 years old. Take care though the size and hardness of content to prevent choking. Use a small stainless steel siscors (bring along wherever you go, very handy) and snip it up and make sure its cool enough before feeding them.

    Between 0 to 5 years old, we give them ‘no choices’ as to what they eat or wear. We give what, they eat what. We seldom try to appeal to their taste, though occasionally in our hearts, we yearn to dote them with some burgers and fries. We can see they really appreciate it when we do it. They have to learn what is healthy food and what is not and have self discipline to control. Why? Because at 6, they’ll be heading for school and you have absolutely NO control of what they eat at canteen. If you ask them what they eat in school, they may even be tempted to tell lies to avoid disciplining. You have to educate them before that.

    Of course life is not simple as that. They will try avoid certain food they don’t like. Different kid’s taste buds behaves differently. This is common. My eldest girl loves to eat most kinds of food on the table, only ‘problem’ is she’ll finish all the veg and meat first before the rice. My 2nd girl is totally opposite, she can live with only white rice. She loves plain white rice and will gobble up in no time leaving the ingredients to be consumed in the next 1 hour! later we realise she is too lazy to chew, so we cook food that is softer in texture. It helps a little. But it all boils down to discipline. She can stuff herself almost instantly with Bah Gua (Dried BBQ pork) which is dry and very hard but very tasty.

    Usually we give them 30 minutes to finish a meal (most doctors recommend 20 mins for the fact that the tummy starts digesting process after that and may not be good to continue putting in fresh food, this may stress the tummy and have problems in later years).

    But i know 20 minutes is almost immpossible for most kids, not unless they have not eaten for days. So 30 mins i think its reasonable and most of the time they can make it.

    If they are choosy and refuse to eat, after 30 mins, the plate is removed and placed in the fridge, to be warmed up and continued in next meal. No scolding, no nagging, no canning. In between no snacks or whatsoever. Only unlimited supply of water if they ask for it or complain hungry. They have to learn to face the facts and deal with their own discipline issue. But if you see that they are already trying their very best and still miss the 30 min target, tell them they are given another 5 mins grace to finish and no more. Exercise discernment in all situations.

    But pls do this only under normal conditions, ie. they are not sick or under special medication.

    Col 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

    Love the sinner, but hate the sin.

    Gold is tried with fire, but Man is tried with Gold.

    We are often tempted for material gains to gratify our senses and we start real young. We see it in our 3 kids.

    God bless!

  4. thanks sin wei for sharing your experience

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