Thursday, January 30, 2014

Deep issues of the picky eater and parents

I really enjoy eating. So much. I wake up thinking about breakfast, even when it's just a bowl of cereal. So, for me, having a really picky eater is difficult on a number of levels.

For awhile (like 3 years ago) we thought it was "a phase". Since then we've considered texture aversion, supertaster, master controller/manipulator, honest to goodness fear of not knowing how to handle new tastes. When he actually does try something, he always gags and sometimes throws up. Yesterday it was a pancake crumb. (Just gagging, no heaves.)


Pediatricians and dietitians haven't been concerned, "He's growing; he's healthy." "This is pretty normal.""His choices are at least pretty healthy." "You can only offer, it's his choice whether to eat it or not." I understand.

But, let's be frank, this is a problem. And I've had a suspicion for awhile it's mostly a parenting problem. But what's a young mom to do? I need tools, advice, Old Wives tales, hypnosis training, black magic, something!

I have read a few books. (Take home message: be positive, be fun, be patient, not forceful.) We also have tried adopting other parents tactics. We've employed just about everything we could think of:
  • addressing the problem
  • ignoring the problem
  • encouraging him to smell, touch, lick foods
  • giving choices
  • letting him eat oatmeal or chex 3 meals a day
  • cheering "you can do it!" to try new foods
  • reading books about food
  • cooking together
  • talking about different kinds of food, the body's need for variety
  • have strict rules, have flexible rules
  • no snacking, some snacking
  • sticker charts, outing incentives, toy incentives, dessert incentives, "you can eat something you like if you try what we're having" incentives
But with all that blood, sweat and tears, he still basically eats the same five things he's eaten for the past two years now. Namely Chex, yogurt, oatmeal, most fruits and applesauce muffins. And a handful of snack foods: graham crackers, Wheat Thins, pretzels and popcorn. We know it's creating habits (not to mention behaviors) we don't want him to have. But we're out of ideas.


Right now we're to a decent point where I actually serve the dinner I fixed on his plate. He'll quietly (usually quietly) push the plate away, may or may not eat the fruit on the side and be ready to go play again. There isn't much struggle. Just resignation he'll go to bed a little hungry. Not awful...but is this really helping him?

So when I picked up this newly published book by Dina Rose, I admittedly had high hopes. Maybe this is it the answer! And you know what, I think it maybe is! (*gasp, holler, fist pound, tear*) I'm only in reading stages right now. Implementation (and book review) will come soon. You'll no doubt hear an earful.

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