July 23, 2010

Food Fight

Let me preface this whole entry by saying this:  Andrew is a sweet, tenderhearted boy who is such a pleasure to be around.  He is so funny, so smart, and amazes me daily with the things he thinks about and talks about with me.  I love being his mommy.

The ONE area in which Andrew is not such a pleasure to parent is the issue of eating.  He is the pickiest eater I've ever personally known.  I was a picky eater as a kid, so I sympathize, but I eat WAY more than he does.  The kid would live on peanut butter crackers if we'd let him.  He refuses to eat many "kid foods" like pizza, PB&J sandwiches, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese...It is so bizarre to me.

Foods he will eat willingly are grapes, blueberries, bananas, apples, baby carrots, crackers, chicken nuggets, french fries, and any kind of sweet treat (ice cream, cookies, cake, brownies, etc).  We limit the more unhealthy items to special treats once in awhile, but let him eat unlimited amounts of the fruits and carrots. 

We have tried bribing him with action figures (have I mentioned how the boy is OBSESSED with Star Wars?) and/or candy.  We have tried begging.  We have tried being patient...We are at our wit's end.  I am thinking its time to just let the boy starve.  I am so tired of standing in front of the fridge listing everything in it, hoping he will say he'll eat ONE thing in there.  I don't want to be a short order cook.  I'd like to be able to make one meal and everyone eat some of it.  (Hannah will eat anything that's not nailed down and then some!) 

I can't help but feel this is somehow all my fault.  We started Andrew on solid foods early (@ 4 months) because his reflux was HORRIBLE and solid/thicker pureed baby foods stayed down so much better and he did so well with the spoon.  However, when we tried to transition to real solids (i.e. an actual pea instead of pureed peas), he stopped eating his veggies.  At that point, I should have laid down the law and given him no options.  I was too paranoid about him not eating to let myself do that.  Now, I know better.

I am only 4'10" and Andrew is short, like me.  He is in the 5th percentile for his height, but he comes by it honestly.  Chris thinks he will grow if he eats more, but I think he will eat more as he hits growth spurts.  Not sure which one it is, but our pediatrician seems to agree with me.  He is not concerned and says Andrew is as healthy as can be, and that when children are not growing at as quick of a rate (but still moving at the speed of light), they crave quick energy (carbs - like crackers!) to help them keep going, but they don't necessarily require the fat and protein we might think they need.  I certainly don't want him to be obese, and I remember the trauma of being FORCED to eat certain foods, so I certainly don't want to do that to him...but I am worried and in need of advice.  Any words of wisdom for me?


Amy said...


We are in the SAME boat... It's nothing you've done.

I feed Wyatt what he'll eat at bfast & lunch (because I don't do "meals" at that time). At supper I fix dinner for us and one vegetable (our dinners are usually meat & three) that I know he'll eat. From time to time, we can convince him to try something new. If he doesn't eat, then he gets no after dinner sweet treat. Lunch for Wyatt is one of these three things, PB & Crackers, Hamburger or Chicken nuggets. I let him have chips or last night's vegetable with lunch.

My hubby & I got frustrated at dinner EVERY night trying to convince him to eat. I finally was able to convince myself that he is old enough he won't starve. He will eat when he gets hungry. I kept thinking that if we set a "quantity" amt to what he has to eat at dinner, then he'll never know what full feels like. I just make sure he eats some of everything now and tell him it's his choice. If he's done well (eating some of everything & us not having to coach him to eat) then he'll have his sweet after dinner.

I hope my ramblings have made sense. I do good to form a complete sentence these days. We still have *those* days, but it has helped us FWIW...

Anna said...

Thanks, Amy! Sounds similar to what we do...Chris always wants him to eat MORE but I think that, if he's full, why force him to eat MORE? Anyway, he mainly eats pretty darn healthy stuff, so if its not as big a variety as I'd like...oh well. :) He will learn.
Thanks so much for stopping by to comment! Any advice helps!!

Casey said...

Jack flat out tells me that his tastes have changed. He used to eat like a horse, but this summer he has become a minimalist when it comes to food. I cook, let the kids serve themselves and enjoy my meal. Kids will eat when they are hungry and if they are hungry they will usually eat what is in front of them. The t...hree things he eats seem reasonable and fairly healthy. I also let my kids cook a great deal and have taught them basics like toaster use, peeling veg, and mixer use. This has dramatially increased their interest in food. They also make their own grocery list with a budget so they do have a few treats that they like. He will be fine and out grow this....you will be lamenting in his teenage years that you can't feed him enough!

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