Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Picky Eaters Anonymous

I think I am on my eighth parenting book. This time I am reading on picky eaters.  Why doesn’t someone write a book that covers all the major parenting topics in one book like the “What to Expect…” books—with all the common expert advice.  So far I have one on sleep, a second one on sleep, potty training, discipline, parenting in general, The Duggar’s family book (just parenting tips they have learned over the years), one on manners (that I haven’t really read yet), breast feeding and “What to Expect the First Year” and now picky eating.  Some have been very helpful and some not so much, some I haven’t read all the way through. I am sure I will read a few more before I am done.  I thought parenting would be intuitive.  It sort of is, but then again, when you love someone like you love your child, and children are irrational, unformed humans, you find your own thoughts and actions being irrational. 

9780679314547 Back to picky eaters—The advice section of the book was unimpressively short.  The book begins by explaining that the fact that my child’s picky eating/bad behavior toward food has gone this far is my fault.  Fair enough, I would agree with that.  I have been a big push over about what he wants to eat.  I have been a hovering and uptight about food.  I have just been happy if he would eat anything.  I have let him eat in front of the T.V. if would eat his meal.  There are lots of reasons children in general are picky eaters, but parents like me make it worse. And the height of picky eating is three years old, which is where we are.

The entirety of the book’s advice can be found in this article from the Mayo Clinic with a few anecdotes for good measure.  But, the advice is sensible and I have seen a few positive sparks.  There are lots of recipes.  Most of the recipes I have said, “Yeah, right. Like my kid is going to eat that.”  I might find one that I will try.

100_2357 My mother-in-law pulled out an old-timey children’s cook book call, “Pickle in the Middle.”  There were lots of simple, healthy, snack recipes that kids love to eat and could even make themselves.  The book is designed for kids to use.  I found a bunch of recipes I am going to try this week.  Today, Alex and I tried fruit spears.  Alex was really excited to help make the snack.  He thought it looked great.  Then when we were finished making it, he said he wanted to eat a slice of bread instead.  I didn’t fuss.  He’s on a bread kick.  Kristiana and I ate the fruit.  She ate all the bananas and nutella and I ate the rest of the fruit.  I put a little nutella on Alex’s bread.  I could not believe he did not want to eat all this luscious, tasty fruit.  The picky eater book said that snacks should be a safe place to eat friendly foods, because mealtimes might be a little stressful with foods that are unfamiliar and scary. 

We’re taking baby steps.  We have stopped asking him what he wants at meal times.  Then if he doesn’t want what is prepared, we just tell him he doesn’t have to eat it and move on.  I think we will come through this one okay.  Alex and Kristiana are both excellent sleepers via applied advice from a book (two different strategies).  We’re figuring this parenting thing out.  ;-)

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