My 10 year old nephew doesn't eat any meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts (he is allergic to peanuts) or any vegetables (except tomato sauce), he mostly eats starch; bread, pizza, white rice, pasta, pancakes, cereal, cake, cookies etc. and a little cheese, he drinks milk and some fruit juices, and sometimes he will drink Mango V8 Splash, so I buy it for him so he will consume some veggies. His doctor says not to worry about him not eating meats because he is getting protein from other sources. What other protein sources? Milk, pasta, and bread, is not enough protein for a growing boy, not to mention all the nutrients he is missing from not eating veggies. I bought him Breakfast Essentials from Carnation so he can put it in his milk and get extra protein and nutrients.
He is a very smart boy, and I told him he can't keep up his nutritionally deficient diet and stay healthy and he says he knows, but he never tries any other foods he doesn't eat. When he was younger we used to "hide" foods he wouldn't eat like eggs in his milk shake, but now he can tell the difference. I told him he may have to take supplements in the near future to make up for the protein and other nutrients he isn't getting from his diet.
With 10 year old boys, reverse psychology works best. They will not eat what they don't want to eat and it is the beginning of the stubbornness of the teen years(how I hated those years and now my son is expecting his first son...revenge time!).
Don't say anything and leave him alone like the doc said. If he gets to the point where he has problems from his eating habits, then the doc will be the one to sit him down and talk to him.
Don't put raw eggs in his drinks as he could get salmonella. There is protein in milk and cheese so give him that whenever he wants. Between the tomato sauce and cheese on a pizza, he will get some good nutrition...try adding hamburg or chicken to the pizza.
Give him a year or 2 and then peer pressure will kick in and he'll eat stuff you'd never believe just because his friends do. It is a transformative age. And girlfriends can get them to eat even more.
My son had the worst diet at that age and is now 6' plus and 230lbs......he grew up just fine. Smart too.
The more you push them, the harder they will pull away from your suggestions. Back off and say nothing and he just might try something new. And if he doesn't, he'll be okay. This isn't a life long problem....it is very temporary. Things will change soon and fast as he enters the teens.
Thanks so much for your response. That pizza idea is good, but he seems to be adamantly against eating meat, he says he's an "herbivore", and he doesn't want to eat killed animals. I told him humans were meant to be carnivores.
What you posted makes a lot of sense, once he goes out with friends and sees what they eat, maybe he will try new things. We will try to keep him away from girls as long as possible though, there is too much of that HPV (human papillomavirus) going around among young people, and the HPV vaccine for boys only protects them against some low risk (wart causing) HPV strains, but not high risk (cancer causing) HPV strains. There is no HPV testing for males and they carry no symptoms of HPV. The STD prevention web-sites are telling people not to even deep kiss on dates because there is an HPV load in the saliva and they will be risking an HPV infection that can lead to cancer!
HPV related oral cancer in younger men is getting more rampant, and the only way males can be protect themselves is not having any skin to skin or deep (French kissing) contact with a girl unless she tests HPV negative, but even testing isn't foolproof because HPV can lay dormant and she could test negative, but it could come out any time when the immune system is low.
My nephew doesn't know too much about HPV yet, but I have been talking to his 15 year old sister about it (I told her to stay away from boys because her parents don't know if they want her vaccinated yet), and my nephew has heard some of the conversations.
Anyway, you gave all good advice, thanks again, it's a shame that boys and girls can't go near each other any longer without being vaccinated, I guess there is much more too worry about than nutrition these days!
Congratulations on your coming grandchild, and keep that child safe and healthy, that's what I'm trying to do with my niece and nephew.
Again, from my experience, use reverse psychology. Educate but don't lecture. Or he'll go out and try to prove you wrong.
Boys are so different from girls in the way you try to teach them. And just when you think it is all over with trying to figure them out, girls turn around and change in a major way as they get into the late teens. They rebel at 16-18 and boys start at 10-13.
If he doesn't want to eat meat, then don't make him. People can exist just fine as herbivores but they must take supplements. We should be omnivores so he must make up the difference somehow. So tell him to do some research on what supplements he needs if he wishes to be a healthy vegetarian. He can get whey protein and use that in milk shakes and get vitamins, etc.
I would tell him if he wants to make big adult decisions on his life like becoming a vegetarian, the he must also do the work of figuring out how to supplement his diet. Tell him all vegetarians do supplements to make sure they get enough of what their bodies need....and then let him do the research. He wants to make an adult decision, the act like an adult. Let this be his first real try to be the adult he will be someday. He just might surprise you and do exactly that. That would be a big step towards maturity.
Encourage him to seek out websites that promote vegetarian living and then see what he needs. What he will find is that they discourage eating the junk food he does eat. He might still avoid meat but he will eat more healthy.
Bottom line, make it his decision AND his responsibility to educate himself. And praise him when he does it, even if it means staying a vegetarian. Boys are like animals....respond much better to praise than discipline so praise him when he does it right and help him with his goal.
And my grandchildren will be fine...my son married a pediatric nurse practitioner. He is a smart boy!