Child refuses new food - Says it has peanuts.

Posted on: Tue, 10/22/2002 - 5:30am
EmilysMom's picture
Joined: 09/03/2002 - 09:00

I always swore my child wouldn't be one of those kids that would only eat a few things and not try anything new! Well my little angel has become a very picky eater.

Emily keeps telling me that everything has peanuts. I try to reassure her that I would never give her peanuts. I am guessing that she is trying to test my boundaries on [/b]EVERYTHING [b] at this time. (We are dealing with another issue, I posted about that in the off-topic section).

I am just wondering how everyone else dealt with this when it came up for them.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Posted on: Tue, 10/22/2002 - 11:33am
Rae's picture
Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

My dd, now 8, can have anxiety attacks over wondering if peanut was in her food. She went through a spell where she would question me about almost every bite of food. I would always assure her, usually trying a possitive approach (ex. "No, it's safe. You can never be too safe though, thanks for reminding me"). I would also remind her I always check everything that enters our house. Good Luck!

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 12:02am
Gardenlover's picture
Joined: 10/17/2002 - 09:00

Hi Emilys Mom ~
You bring up a good point. Our kids are learning about keeping themselves safe and sometimes they can do this. How old is your daughter? I guess I would start there with age appropriate information. I wouldn't go into a lengthy explanation for very young children myself. I like the advise from the other person here who said to thank her daughter for asking because we can never be too safe. I think that's terrific advice. In time your daughter will get comfortable with more food. Give her time and be consistent so that she sees that you are keeping her safe by checking everything first. That's really all we can all do. I have another thought tho - is it possible that she doesn't want certain foods like peas and beans because they are a legume and she might be allergic to them? I assume you realize the connection to legumes and peanuts. I'm just trying to be helpful so disregard the thought if you have this information already.
Keep smiling and take care. Hang in there with Emily! ;-)

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 9:17am
teacher's picture
Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

Hi EmilysMom,
I am heading out the door to work, but I promise I will come back tonight or tomorrow to give you a decent reply on this. But in a nutshell (no pun intended), Andy has used that same excuse. Now, he has a diagnosed eating disorder, to boot. So we have a child who DEFINES the expression, "Picky Eater."
I have some strategies (courtesy his occupational therapist) that I could share with you later. I am shocked and amazed that this child actually TRIED the following foods in the last two weeks: cucumber, applesauce, tuna, AlphaGhetti, and vegetable dip. (The list sounds weird, but there's a method to their madness!)
Anyway, just so you know you're not alone! I'm off to work now and I'll write later ...

Posted on: Fri, 10/25/2002 - 3:56am
EmilysMom's picture
Joined: 09/03/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for your replies.
Rae, I like that bit of advice. I will use it.
Nicole, Emily is 4. We are going through lots of pushing limits. I think this must be another way for her to assert her independence.
Teacher, I would love to know what other strategies you have.
Thanks all for your help.

Posted on: Fri, 10/25/2002 - 8:33am
teacher's picture
Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.
Andy was diagnosed with a disorder called Dysphagia when he was around 3. It is an inability to swallow certain textures. Since that time we have since discovered that his is actually a sensitivity to things in general -- it's part of Regulatory Disorder, which was his final diagnosis.
What it comes down to is there is only a handful of foods that he is willing to eat. Unfortunately none of them are meat, fruit, or vegetables. So his diet is severely limited. So far he is growing and is healthy, but man can't live on bread alone! So we are embroiled in some tedious work in "training" (or "retraining" as the case may be) him how to eat.
You know how when they were babies and everybody said that you have to introduce a new food for many times before they might try it? In Andy's case, it took 28 nights at the dinner table, where the routine was unwavering, to get him to take a TASTE of banana. (The deal there was that we were instructed to cut four slices of banana and put them in the center of the table, before we ate our regular dinner. We were to pass the plate around, and all four of us had to take a slice of banana. Then we would eat. Andy would balk -- for 28 days. Eventually he tried it, much to our delight.) We did the same thing with strawberries, and then with apples. None of these foods are regularly a part of his diet yet, but we're getting there.
Now he's working with a feeding team that includes an occupational therapist, dietician, psychologist, and nurse. In a group setting, he is asked to be willing to accept the new food on a plate in front of him. (Sometimes even THAT is offensive to him!) Once he becomes comfortable with that, he is asked to sniff it. From there they move to touching it with his fingers. After that it's touching it to your lips. The "big" leap is made when he is asked to lick it. Next week I am looking forward to watching him sink his teeth into something. (Not eat it, but bite it ...)
They are really, really baby steps, but like I said, I'm so thrilled that it's something other than milk or Cheerios or french fries, that I can't complain!
As for the peanut allergy -- he often refuses food now, under the pretense that he is "allergic" to it. People back off REAL quick when they hear him say that!! I think he likes the power that comes with it ... But when I am around, he KNOWS he can't get away with that!! (He still tries, mind you! LOL!)
In general, having spent five years dealing with this, I would suggest that you go back to the basics with trying new foods. It's important to be consistent. Offer it every day for as long as it takes. (Believe me, I had basically given up by day 28!!) Be willing to accept baby steps. The therapists that Andy works with basically bribe him -- they tell him he can't have any juice (like the other kids) until he's willing to at least TRY what they ask him to. Small steps are applauded.
One last thing -- I think that if I didn't have outside help with this I would definitely give up! It's so easy for moms to second-guess themselves. But honestly, Andy is SUCH a worst-case scenario when it comes to this sort of thing ... So if you are eating bananas (or whatever it may be) for 4 weeks at a time, just remember us!! LOL!
Anyway, I'm sure things aren't this bad for you, but I thought you might like to hear about other mothers struggling with similar issues. And also that the tried-and-true stuff really does work!!
Good luck with Emily and keep us posted as to what happens, okay? And thanks for creating a place for me to vent! LOL!

Posted on: Fri, 10/25/2002 - 11:51am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

Hi Emilysmom,
Before I open a new box or package of something, I always read the ingredients aloud. Almost 6 y/o DS listens. After all are read, both DS and I know that the product is safe. I believe that by doing this it makes him feel safe and it reinforces what we do to check ingredients because eventually this will be his responsibility.
Also, sometimes kids just are not interested in new foods. If she eats a somewhat balanced diet, maybe that is OK for now, and gradually, as she gets older, she will become more adventurous and add to it.
I also agree with Teacher in that kids usually don't like something the first time around. (BTW, 28 days, you have much more patience than I)
Good Luck,
[This message has been edited by ACBaay (edited October 25, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 10/25/2002 - 11:59am
KarenT's picture
Joined: 10/30/1999 - 09:00

My 9 year old son is a picky eater. Fruits and Veg are is dislikes-only apples, apples sauce and banana's go into his mouth. We have managed a couple of raw carrots.
Have you tried taking her with you to grocery shop? Depending on your comfort zone.
My four year old goes down the isle saying "is that May-contain?" When we find a new one that is not may contain she feels like she is in charge of her food. She can hardly wait to try it.


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