Tuesday, July 19, 2011


There have been times in my child raising life thus far in which I want to take all the tips and advice I have received and cram it where the person's sun doesn't shine. Sorry, but sometimes as a "new mommy" all of the "old mommies" come out of the wood work with every piece of info that you never wanted to know. Thus, the reason I did not read maternity books either.

Here's the thing. Now I have changed my mind and I want some tips. I need some advice. Some good old recommendations and things to try.

My son is a picky eater.

Feeding a child is probably one of the most complex and confusing things that I have ever experienced. It starts from the very beginning. In fact, when Leyton was in the womb the only panic baby dreams that I had were about feeding the baby. In the dream I realized that he was already a couple months old and I had not fed him yet. Of course in the dream I just grabbed the bag of food, read on the side how much a two month old eats, and then poured it in to a glass. I mean, feeding a kid was going to be just like feeding a dog right?

Then I had him and guess what? My milk didn't come in for over seven days. Of course I was panicked and stressed out because oh my god, breast is best! Breast is the only way! Formula evil! Nipple confusion, nipple confusion, nipple confusion. Oh and then, once my milk DID come in...it dried right back up within a month. Of course, I was a failure. I was the poster child for a bad mommy on every Lactation Consultant's "Losers that don't breast feed" sign. Then I realized, fuck that...it just DOESN'T work for everyone.

So, when Leyton started eating real foods I decided I was going to do him right! I was going to make all his food myself. No store bought glass jar would ever cross his lips. I was going to make sure it was fresh and out of my kitchen, and I did just that. Oh, he got the occasional squeeze pouch of organic stuff but his food was all whipped up from scratch in my fancy food processor.

Then he started to eat food with his fingers and guess what?! That little sucker decided that he didn't want to eat all the things he had eaten before. He decided that if he was going to put it in his mouth than damn it...he was going to pick and choose what went in there. Those lovely green beans, peas and sweet potatoes that he so loved before. Nope. That new crazy product called "rice" that you are sure he will love. Nope, feels to funny in his hands and therefore is not going into his mouth. The shade of green? Hates it, unless it is an avocado and then and only then will he make an exception. Oh, and don't try to trick him by putting it on a fork or spoon and feeding it to him because he will eat with HIS HANDS ONLY. Also, seasonings are disgusting so don't even think about trying to make it taste better with a little butter or dash of salt.

There you have it. All this hard work and my son is a sucky eater. Give him a carb and he will carbo load likes he's training for the Iron Man, but don't and I mean DON'T try to give him a veggie or that is going straight to the floor ie: Whisky.

Please help.


IRWS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Habicht said...

Here's two tips from a dad:

1) Nutritional Yeast... sprinkle it on just about any food and add some nutrition to the meal

2) Smoothies. Purchase a good blender like BlendTec and you can make very nutritional drinks. It's easy to sneak in things like spinach... they won't even taste it!

Anonymous said...

feeding your child is going to be emotionally draining....because they cant survive without food, right? Well...kind of right.
It can take up to 14 times of a child being exposed to a food for them to eat it.

I highly recommend cooking one meal for your family and serving it to Leyton, too. I know it sounds like a horrible plan, and that it will never work, but always feed him what you are eating. You can always slice up some string cheese circles for a snack later in the evening if he seems starving.

The best advice I ever received was

"It is your responsibility to provide nutritious, filling food for your family. Kids will eat what they need."
Don't serve two meals, and rather than using words like "he doesn't like that" use language like "he hasn't developed the taste for this yet, but lets give it another shot!"
He may not like rice, but what about rice BALLS made with tumeric?
Just keep serving him, and he'll come around!


ruth said...

yea, this is the part where you have to get creative. it sucks. i have no advice for you, since it really depends on the kid. i have a picky eater too (he's sensitive with textures) so even if we are eating the same food, he refuses it. but i agree about the part where you just provide healthy choices, and the rest is up to them. they will not starve themselves, it's against their biological nature. they will eat when they are hungry enough.

my neighbor told me there are 3 things you can't force a child to do:
1. sleep
2. eat
3. potty train


Melissa Haworth said...

Biscuit is not a picky eater so take this with a grain of salt (ha!) since I haven't been in your shoes but, BUT my nieces are very picky and their mom got in the habit of making them a separate dinner and they are now 4, 8 and 9 and she is STILL cooking two dinners. Even as a single parent! It is MUCH harder to reverse course later if you start to cater to their whims early. And as a previous commenter said, they are unlikely to starve so offer him good options and let him choose.

Other ideas (probably obvious but you asked :) as he gets older let him help as much as possible with food prep so he feels a sense of ownership and more willing to try. Also, offer the veggies (with dip?) while you're prepping dinner while he's most hungry. I let Biscuit "snack" all she wants on fruit/veg before dinner so at dinner if she eats all of one thing at least she has some vitamins already.

Ok, that's it. Good luck and don't stress too much. My sister ate plain bagels with american cheese slices as a primary staple for years and is now one of the most adventurous vegetarian eaters I know.

ladychiara said...

Stacey food is such an emotional minefield for us mothers. Both my children were and still are fussy eaters. I consulted a dietician when they were about ages 3 and 5.

The basic advice the dietician gave me was to just keep offering healthy foods. Finger foods can be helpful when they are younger. Hard as it is try not to stress and do not let them cotton on to the fact that you are concerned about their dietary intake. (yeah right, I know)

Encourage them to try one bite of 'new' foods. Offer the new food many times over as sometimes it can take them weeks to decide to give it a try or decide they do actually like it.

Offer small amounts, they can always ask for seconds if still hungry.
If it eases your worry about nutrition you can give a childrens multivitamin.

Toddlers are notoriously fussy at times so it's nothing you have 'done'.
You can hide vegetables in things like pancakes, muffins etc. (cook and blend the vegetables well, reduce liquid ingredients)
Apparently they will NOT starve themselves to death (even though us mothers think they might)
Offer meals and snacks at set times and if they get hungry in between make them wait (if you have the strength to do so) Apparently this approach teaches them to eat at mealtimes. I was always too weak to do this and mine are fussy teenagers today. (mine do have autism however and this in part is a reason for their fussiness around food)
Above all else remember...THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

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