Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finicky Eater Driving me Crazy!


I said a lot of stupid things before I had my own child. Some examples of stupid things I said before having children: (I have now had to eat MANY of my own words.)

"My child will never act like that!"

"We will just leave the restaurant if my baby cries like that."

"I will make my kids eat healthy."

"I will only have to say 'no' one time!"

"My child won't even know what chicken nuggets and french fries are."

"My child will learn to sleep/take naps anywhere."

"I'm not going to change my schedule."

"I will read to my baby at least 3 times a day."

"My kids will eat what we eat for dinner. They won't get anything different."

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Okay, pick yourself up off the floor now. I am a different person now than I was pre-baby! You just have no idea before having your own kids!

Right now, I am dealing with the eating issues. I used to never think that I would put up with a picky/finicky eater. Little did I know...

I thought I did all the right things, though! We introduced baby cereal when the experts said to, we introduced baby food when the experts said to, we introduced solid food when the experts said to, we introduced vegetables first, he never had anything sweet before his 1st birthday cake, he NEVER gets junk food such as sweets, chips, candy, etc. I exposed him to all kinds of good, healthy food, etc, etc, etc. I have always been very anal about what I allow him to eat, making sure it isn't too salty, didn't have added sugar, had some kind of nutritional value, etc. I guess you could call me the food Nazi. He used to be such a good eater, eating anything I put in front of him. Now, he is the most finicky one year old! Some days he loves ravioli, other days he won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Some days he will eat green beans like they are going out of style, other days he spits them out of his mouth screaming! Some days he won't eat anything other than graham crackers unless I physically force food into his mouth. When he first started becoming finicky, I resisted it until I was blue in the face. I refused to feed him anything other than what I fixed. I pried his mouth open and forced the food in there. He went 3-4 hours crying for crackers, breakfast bars, and cereal with nothing in return. Now I am just frustrated and don't know what to do! The "experts" say not to make it an issue, not to force them to eat what they don't want. But, they are the ones that said to do this, this and this to have a good eater, and we see where that got us. I need help! Am I fighting a losing battle, will it ever go away, should I just give him what he wants, should I continue forcing unwanted food down his throat??? I just knew that I would have an excellent eater and never have to deal with this... Although I don't know why because believe it or not, I am an EXTREMELY picky eater! I just didn't want my kids to be. Please give me any advice you can think of! Thank you so much.

15 comments:

Mandy said...

Poor Zayde, that picture is killing me!! I am the total opposite mommy! My mom always let us eat whatever we wanted to growing up and we all turned out just fine. I let Tayson eat pretty much anything. Not spicy foods or things that I think will make him sick but other than that, I give him pretty much free rain. He is an awesome eater and will let me know if he doesn't like something. I always try to slip something healthy in at every meal but I always include things I know he likes. For example, he loves hot dogs so I will give him hot dogs and green beans! Or last night, we had chicken so I gave him some of that but he also got puffy cheetos because he LOVES those! I let him have a cookie for snack or some days he will have something healthier, like a granola bar. My ped. just told me to let him decide. He is a human just like me and sometimes he might want junk and other times he will eat all the healthy stuff!! I just make sure that he gets plenty of milk and he loves Gerber Juice so I know that he gets more than enough of his fruit serving each day. Oh, one more thing, I was having a bit of trouble with veggies for awhile so I bought some of Gerber's carrot/apple and carrot/mixed fruit juice and he loves it!! It says it has a full servings of veggies in it! He also loves the Gerber yogurt juice drinks!

Good Luck!!

Mandy said...

Sorry, I just realized I didn't spell reign correctly!!

Christy Dean said...

Amy - I just started giving William cereal this week (my doctor said it was okay and I'm hoping it will help his tummy and help him sleep). So, I might be in the same situation you are soon. Who knows!? Maybe Zayde got messed up when he ate cookies at my house!? (ha, ha) I still don't know how he got those... Anyway, maybe Zayde just likes constant variety. You're very creative, so I know you'll find stuff he'll eat (just keep giving him the Amish bread!) - good luck!!!

Brandy said...

I'm like Mandy. Jordan ate solid food a little earlier than most, because developmentally, she got teeth REALLY early, so she was just ready to eat sooner. Some days she is a good eater and other days she hardly takes 2 bites all day. I don't worry too much about this because she is growing and gaining on target. I know she is healthy, despite how she may eat on some days. She pretty well gets to eat what she wants. I don't let her go overboard on junk, but if she wants chips, I let her eat them. The fact is, she doesn't eat much of ANYTHING that she does eat, so a few chips or a few of whatever isn't going to hurt her. She goes through phases too, some days she LOVES fruit, others, not so much. It all balances out though. I would caution you about forcing food down his throat. I just think you need to relax a little about the food, he'll eat better if you give him some choices in the matter. It might make you feel better to give him a vitamin? I don't know. I would just let him eat what he wants to eat. I give Jordan choices, and that seems to help things sometimes. Jordan is also not good about sitting and eating--which I absolutely HATE! If I let her eat a little and get down and come back, she usually eats a little better that way. It's all about compromise when their this age. It'll be different when they're older and they understand things a little better (at least I think so ;-) I hope this gets better for you! I hope you don't think I sounded too harsh--I feel for you....child rearing is HARD WORK!!!!!!!!

Mandy said...

I just saw your comment about the juice. I thought I would add...I mix Tayson's juice about 50/50 with nursery water so that he is getting some fluoride and the juice isn't as strong that way!!

Anonymous said...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Since your older sister was picky, I went through the battles with her. You ate whatever was available to your liking... cereal, chicken, hot dogs. Since we did not buy sweet foods or drinks, you knew they were not an option. Yes, their taste buds change daily, that's normal. So, give him what he likes for the day. You turned out okay, huh?
Love, Mom

Kim said...

Well, I didn't read what everyone else said, but I will tell you my experience. I probably introduced things earlier than most with both of my kids. I tried not to worry too much about things, and I was like you. I have the rule that my kids won't have a "special" meal. They will always eat what we eat. At times I have strayed from that a little, but I have stuck to it more times than I have not. I also talked to my pediatrician. He said (and I quote) "If he won't eat what you put on the table he'll be fine. Give him time, and he will eat when he gets hungry." So, I have stuck by that. It's a little easier with a four year old. I can actually tell him if he doesn't eat his dinner he won't get dessert or anything until breakfast, and he understands. With Sydney it is a little harder, but it has worked. I leave her in her chair until it was time for a bath, and then I got her down. She has yet to cry herself to sleep from being hungry. Also, I think my Mom is right. Sometimes we just aren't hungry for something, and they can't really tell us. Maybe he just isn't hungry for that thing in paticular that night. It'll get easier,I promise!

Candy said...

This is hard! My kids are older, so I have a hard time remembering back. I think they all go through this though. Even my 6 yr old still decides to be picky sometimes and not others. I say just keep offering him good choices. :) You'll make it through this! :)

Kim said...

Your story could be about my three year old!! I have gotten now where I let him eat what he wants. If he wants a Lunchable for dinner when we are having pork chops, then he gets his Lunchable. It is better then him not eating or fighting with him for hours over getting him to eat what I cookfor dinner. Pick your battles! My baby will eat anything you put in front of him and then some!! Good Luck!

Leigh said...

I am still a picky eater so not much advice. Except to say, they'll eat when they're hungry. Dont sweat it.

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The Holloway Family said...

I'm pretty laid back about the eating thing, but I have also said that my child will NOT be a picky eater. David is so bad that it drives me insane. Brooklynn pretty much eats everything. I let her eat chicken nuggets and french fries (they're actually some of her favorites) though, so I might not be the person to give advice! :) She doesn't get a whole lot of sweets though. I don't keep candy or a whole lot of junk just because I don't want to be tempted myself! She eats her fruits and veggies great, so I don't worry if everything she gets is nutritionally perfect. Oh, and she has always been very thin in spite of the fact that she's a great eater(5-10th percentile for weight, and 50-75th for height).

Tamara said...

Well, I think you know I can't really give much advice b/c I can't get my child to eat either!!! At least he is eating some. I don't think you should worry so much about what he eats. I would let him eat what he feels like eating for that day. It will all balance out.

Tonette said...

All Kids go through phases. He will eat good again, and then he will be picky again. I like to give Reagan pedisure milk in the morning and that makes me feel like she is getting some real good vitamins. Also I give her V8 V-Fusion juice and that has a whole serving of fruits and veggies in the juice. It will be okay.

Nicole M Wood said...

This might sound crazy but I am excited to have eating problems. I don't remember how it was when I was younger but I am not that picky now. Jerrame is most likely going to be the bad guy and make them try everything at least once.

Jennifer said...

The good news is this is a phase. But I will say that I let all my kids eat what they liked to a degree. I mean they didn't eat chocolate and stuff like that. My kids are not 'typical' in that their favorites are green beans, corn on the cob, black olives, red beets, and watermelon. Oh and I missed the all important steamed broccoli.......yes steamed, nothing else will do! ROFL

My daughter went thru a week or two where all she wanted was broccoli and watermelon! LOL