While I’m not sold on labelling kids, the truth of the matter is, my kid is not an enthusiastic eater. Ever since that day when she was 13 months old and refused her lunch, she has been wary of new food. For the longest time, she point-blank refused to eat anything except peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, and weetbix.
I kept trying new foods, unceremoniously taking them away if met with resistance. Dying of excitement but being all Fonzie-cool about it on the surface if she actually ate something different. I was very zen about it, knowing she would one day grow out of it, or at least be old enough to reason with. I also introduced veggies into daily play and stories to get her familiar with them.
I think there was a mourning period (or at least a severely confused one) when she stopped eating. I really, honestly had provided a huge variety of food, like we’re told to do, in the interests of raising a healthy, adventurous eater. I did everything you’re supposed to do to foster an environment of plenty. And in the end, kids will do what kids will do even if you have done the best you can.
So about a year ago, after a full year of Sandwich City, she branched out and tried a boiled egg. Then it was spaghetti. Then a piece of cheese. Then a slice of homemade pizza.
Slowly but surely, we broke out of that rut. And while I wouldn’t say she eats any and all food without a backward glance, there have been times when we can chat about it and she’ll try it, she’s interested in an incentive at the end of the meal and she’ll try the new thing on her plate, or repeated exposure at day care has meant she asks for it at home.
Everyone I’ve spoken to, and everything I’ve read, points to kids eating weirdly at this age. And she seems happy and healthy and very rarely sick, so I’m not concerned. I have thought about giving her a vitamin, just because I think they’re awesome for everyone who doesn’t get a 100%-perfect diet (UM HELLO, ME!). My nutritionist buddy Katie 180 recommended Healthy Appetite tissue salts, but kids are supposed to have one four times a day and we definitely don’t remember that often! Pepper appears to eat pretty reasonably, and I’m told at day care she’ll chow down two or three bowls of lunch. But she will certainly copy her sister if Abby says no to a dish. Eye rolls from all directions when that happens.
So where are we at? Ohhhh we’ve come so far!
What she will eat no problem:
Peanut butter on rye bread sandwiches
Peanut butter on toast
Vegemite on toast (this is a new one)
Homemade bread and butter (including garlic bread and herb bread)
Boiled eggs and toast soldiers
Homemade margarita pizza (and occasionally a bought slice, but not if there’s “green fings” on it)
Porridge (this is a new one)
Dry cereal (Cheerios, etc)
Greek yogurt with honey or homemade jam mixed in
Bread sticks (grissini)
Crackers – rice crackers, Jatz-style crackers, water crackers, corn thins
Crackers and cheese (this is new)
Plain corn chips
Plain potato crisps
Toasted cheese sandwiches
Cucumber (this is new)
Oven-baked homemade chips/fries
Plain cashews (this is new)
Strawberry ice cream
What she will eat with encouragement from us:
Any type of pasta that isn’t spaghetti, but it has to be red
Sausage rolls (or at least the pastry!)
No way, no how:
Corn on the cob
Pretty much anything on a sandwich that isn’t peanut butter or occasionally vegemite
Any condiment that isn’t ketchup
dips, hommus, etc
Soup of any varitey
Hell, anything in a bowl, really
How about you – had any wins lately?