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We have a 3 year old who will only eat hot dogs, bacon, bologna, and ham nothing else except junk food of course. Is it ok to just let him have this stuff or should we try and force other things.
When it comes to diet, make sure first of all that you are on the same page with your doctor. There are many personal schools of thought when it comes to diet and nutrition in young kids, so you will hear answers across the board. In my opinion, the foods you mentioned are OK in moderation, but if that's his only nutrition, things need to change. Fruits and vegetables need to be added in some way... you can get creative. Our oldest daughter is 2 1/2 and she loves hot dogs as well, so what we do is cut the hot dogs up small, and mix them in with a macaroni & cheese casserole which includes several kinds of vegetables. That's not the healthiest combo either, but at least we feel like she gets some veggies. Maybe make him earn his "junk" food by eating other foods. If he won't eat, then no treats. But you need to shake it up somewhat so he isn't impossible and unhealthy as he gets older.
Speak with your pediatrician and ask for vitamins. You want to make sure your child is getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Junk food is not the best choice for a growing toddler.
they say what they eat over the first 5 yrs has a large impact on they're lives. I'd try to make him earn his junk food. He doesn't eat lunch or dinner then no snacks, if he doesn't finish put it in the fridge and when he is hungry later he has to eat that before he can get a snack. My 5 yr old eats everything with ranch and i mean pretty much everything because he loves ranch...not the best solution but as he gets used to the new food he uses less ranch on it or stops using it completely. But we had the same issue untilwe did the ranch thing and you have to eat this or no snacks.
My solution...stop giving your child those things. Put foods on his plate that are healthy, at first he will refuse to eat them...bare with it and do not give into the temptation of giving him something you know he will eat if he refuses the healthy things. Eventually he will get hungry enough that he will eat what you put out for him. He will not let himself starve...he may skip a meal or two, but will eat. As far as junk food goes...don't buy! If it isn't in the house he can't eat it anyways. Kids only know what they are given and if they are give the same things over and over then that is all they want to eat! You have to just give him other things and do away with the hot dogs, bacon, bologn and ham.
You can find many dishes that have those as part of them. Mix the hot dogs with some mac and cheese and yellow veggies. Cut the hot dogs into small peices so it is is harder to pick them out with thier little fingers. before you know it the plate will be empty. Then start making that dish with other types of meat like chicken. Sometimes my kids (I have 4, one is two) don't know the difference.
We don't give our kids options, they eat what we cook, lol. I always make sure there is something in the meal each kid will like. Like my daughter isn't into hamburger so when I make a meal with hamburger I will make a side or two that she likes so she has something to eat. I don't force my kids to eat but I don't let them push me around either. They don't have to clean their plates, if they don't like it they don't have to eat it but I am not going to be making a special meal just for them either. I would end up having to make 4 or 5 different meals every meal!
THESE FOODS ARE UNHEALTHY FOR KIDS TO EAT ALL THE TIME, MY KIDS EAT WHAT IS COOKED I DONT OFFER OTHER FOODS AND SINCE THEY ARE HUNGRY THE EAT. NOW I HAVE HAD THE ONE CHILD WHO DOES NOT LIKE CERTAIN ITEMS AND I WOULD REPLACE IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE. AND I DONT EVEN BUY JUNK FOOD, THEY EAT A LOT OF FRUIT AND RAW VEGGIES FOR SNACKS, OR FRUIT SNACKS. BUT COOKIES AND CHIPS I DONT DO THOSE TYPE OF SNACKS. AND THEY ARE FINE WITH IT.
While I do think the things you listed are fine in moderation, ideally children really do need a variety of healthy foods to learn and grow. I would certainly not ever advocate forcing a child to eat anything, but I do think it's best to continue to offer a wide variety of healthy choices. My boys have always loved to dip and dunk things so I found that they were open to trying new things if I served them with a fun dip like peanut butter or ketchup.