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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pickiest toddler on the planet

You might remember this post from July when I complained talked about how little my child will eat.

And I was reassured by you awesome folks that all is well in the world of feeding small children, because, behold! They all eat like starving prisoners.

I am here to report that, Gianna actually gained 2 pounds (and 2 inches) since her 15 month doctor visit. So it is true, you can sustain life on muffins and fruit.

(she is totally obsessed with muffins, not sure why but she asks for “muffff-in” all.day.long and will eat multiple muffff-ins if I let her)

But here’s the deal – she has limited her diet even further since July. Totally eliminating all forms of sandwich/bread except on rare occasions.  So that leaves us with her beloved muffins, pretty much all breakfast foods minus the meat, yogurt, fruit, chicken nuggets and pizza on certain days.

Pair that with a new calcium supplement (we still can’t do milk) and a regular multivitamin and I suppose she is fairly nutritional-ized….

Here is my issue: how do I incorporate other foods into Gianna’s food pyramid of fruit, muffins and chicken nuggets?  I need some inspiration as I am extremely challenged in the kitchen – I can cook from a recipe just fine, I just can’t come up with a recipe on my own!

I want her to eat healthy as much as possible (read: with as little non-essential ingredients/sugars/words i can not pronounce in the product) – just not sure how to do that all the time.   Also, what to do about fruit in the winter time?

Honestly I am frustrated and overwhelmed at what to give her.  Sure I CAN give her grapes and waffles for every meal, but that will not do either of us any favors in the future. I want her to at least try stuff, but you can’t reason with an 18 month old in case you didn't know… 

My next best idea is to trick her into eating new foods. But guys – she is a wise little bugger – she doesn’t give in to the novelty of silverware, airplane sounds, peanut butter stuffed in pita bread, eating off of her mothers plate. Clearly she knows that what I have is not all that awesome.

Give me your best tricks, tips, recipes, assvice – whatever you have  on feeding the stubborn toddler.

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7 comments:

cd0103 said...

I should probably shut my trap because-- she is only 18 months old. From watching my nephew, the tastes will change over time.

Can you get peanut butter or jam or anything if it is attached to fruit?


Past that-- I will not give advice. My 13 year old nephew is still the pickiest person I know and it frustrates the living daylight out of me.


Good luck!

alison said...

I hate to say "she'll eat when she's hungry" because we have a friend who has a severe eating disorder and now has an NG feeding tube for nutrition and is "food counseling". I don't by any means think Miss G is in that situation, but I now am a bit cautious about saying "just wait, she'll eat when she's hungry".

With that said, B is an odd picky eater. We're lucky in that he eats 80% of what we put in front of him. However, he's a nutball. He refuses hamburgers, but LOVES my MIL's meatloaf and eats the crap out of my homemade sloppy joes.

We've always said that we're not going to make different meals for the kid(s) than what we're eating, and we stick by that 90% of the time. But that said, he eats a loooot of hot dogs (all beef, I figure if he's going to eat them.... ;)

He likes sauces like ketchup, bbq, ranch, etc. so sometimes we can disguise something he won't love with some ketchup.

He does well with most veggies except corn (but he LOVES corn on the cob), and we always have those veggie steamers in the freezer so they're quick to prepare.

We try to expand his horizons each week, but do a lot of sticking with the basics: spaghetti, baked ziti, quesadillas (chicken and/or cheese), cheeseburger pockets, tator tot casserole, etc. etc.

Wow, holy novel. You guys will get there, no worries!

Lora said...

I think my two oldest children only ate chicken nuggets and pizza for approximately 3 years. I didn't start making them try stuff until they were like 4 and 7, and even then it was slow going. Now at 11 and 8 they are much more eager to try new things, and eat a very wide variety of foods. I think this is because I didn't make it a power struggle when they were young. Yes, they were picky, but I let them outgrow it slowly and without gagging them on stuff they didn't want to eat. At 18 months there isn't much point in trying to convince her to eat anything she doesn't want in my opinion, always offer whatever you are eating as well but don't turn it in to a battle. They always win, lol.

Esperanza said...

My daughter is only 4.5 months so I don't have any advice on what to feed your daughter, but I did want to say that I was a REALLY PICKY eater and I turned out okay. So don't worry too much... us picky eaters make it through some how. ;-)

Mel said...

I recently read that you have sometimes have to give them new stuff up to 15 times to try before they'll eat it. SERIOUSLY. That said, I just keep trying. When she was a baby first eating solids, she ate EVERYTHING and anything I put in front of her. At around 15 months, though, little miss picky emerged.

Meal ideas: pasta (spaghetti, tortelloni, ravioli--the grocery store has great handmade pastas in the refrigerated section and I just buy organic sauce to toss on top), black beans and brown rice with tortillas, baked beans, baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinammon, super soft steamed broccoli (I buy frozen organic and steam, its super easy), meatloaf with mashed potatoes, chicken fingers with mac n cheese, casseroles of any kind are usually good (esp with shredded chicken breast; put frozen chicken in a crock pot in the morning on low all day in a bath of chick broth and poultry seasoning and its GREAT for casseroles that call for cooked chicken), pot roast, hot dogs and bologna on occassion (I dont do either more than once a week), quesadillas, grilled cheese and veggie straws, soup with a straw! Oh, also google a company called "Peas of Mind." I found them in my freezer section at my super target and their products are AWESOME. We love the carrot-risotto puffet and sweet potato fries best. And I am super picky about what frozen foods I'll use.

Snacks: Nutrigrains, Annie's anything, apples, bananas, strawberries, sliced grapes, yo baby yogurt (try diff kinds of yogurt, she might like one over another!, animal crackers, dried fruit strips (Target and Whole Foods have the best), popcorn, cheese (tried shredded, cubed, sliced to see if anything is novel over another)

DIPPING is huge for us. Ketchup, ranch, honey are all big hits over here. Esp with meats.

Bottom line. It's annoying. And frustrating. But? If she's gaining weight and thriving? I wouldn't sweat it. All I can say is just keep trying. We seriously have days where she eats two bites of food all day and that's it and the next day she'll eat me out of house and home. Being a mom is bizarre!

Mel said...

I recently read that you have sometimes have to give them new stuff up to 15 times to try before they'll eat it. SERIOUSLY. That said, I just keep trying. When she was a baby first eating solids, she ate EVERYTHING and anything I put in front of her. At around 15 months, though, little miss picky emerged.

Meal ideas: pasta (spaghetti, tortelloni, ravioli--the grocery store has great handmade pastas in the refrigerated section and I just buy organic sauce to toss on top), black beans and brown rice with tortillas, baked beans, baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinammon, super soft steamed broccoli (I buy frozen organic and steam, its super easy), meatloaf with mashed potatoes, chicken fingers with mac n cheese, casseroles of any kind are usually good (esp with shredded chicken breast; put frozen chicken in a crock pot in the morning on low all day in a bath of chick broth and poultry seasoning and its GREAT for casseroles that call for cooked chicken), pot roast, hot dogs and bologna on occassion (I dont do either more than once a week), quesadillas, grilled cheese and veggie straws, soup with a straw! Oh, also google a company called "Peas of Mind." I found them in my freezer section at my super target and their products are AWESOME. We love the carrot-risotto puffet and sweet potato fries best. And I am super picky about what frozen foods I'll use.

Snacks: Nutrigrains, Annie's anything, apples, bananas, strawberries, sliced grapes, yo baby yogurt (try diff kinds of yogurt, she might like one over another!, animal crackers, dried fruit strips (Target and Whole Foods have the best), popcorn, cheese (tried shredded, cubed, sliced to see if anything is novel over another)

DIPPING is huge for us. Ketchup, ranch, honey are all big hits over here. Esp with meats.

Bottom line. It's annoying. And frustrating. But? If she's gaining weight and thriving? I wouldn't sweat it. All I can say is just keep trying. We seriously have days where she eats two bites of food all day and that's it and the next day she'll eat me out of house and home. Being a mom is bizarre!

Danifred said...

I didn't have time to read everyone else's comments, so forgive me if this was already said, but I do love Jessica Seinfeld's book about hiding stuff in food. Even though there aren't a ton of recipes, it gives you ideas and a starting point.
With my kids, presentation is everything. They love to eat things on sticks :)
If you have a chance, check out that book though, I think you might find it helpful.