Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Things to do differently part 1: picky eater

I figured that, as it looks now like we've got a pretty good shot at having an in-arms baby in the relatively near future, it's time to consider what parenting Little Monster will look like as compared to the kid.  I also figure this will be a multi-part series because it might help me focus a bit.

The kid is a very picky eater.  I mean very.  It isn't that she won't eat things ever, it's that she has about a dozen or so things she will eat.  Some days she just has milk for lunch at daycare because there's no catering there.  At home, we cave.  We let her choose what parts of our meals she's eating or if we're having left-overs, she gets something special all for her.  She's always been a skinny mini, but since she eats adequately across a week, we've let it go.

As a very small (size and age-wise) consumer of solid food, the kid ate everything.  She was interested in it all.  Then two things happened, when she was about 15-18 months old: I quit cooking her kid food (something mushy at the time) for consumption at daycare, and then we moved and were exceedingly broke.  Vegetables aren't cheap, so they got moved out of regular consumption.  The new daycare was much more of a "french fries count as a vegetable" mind than the previous one, so we wound up with a situation where real vegetables went out of regular consumption all at once.  If avoidable, this would be a food thing to avoid doing.

I have to say, we probably tolerate the choosiness about food more than strictly needed because we suspect the kid has at least a mild version of the food sensitivities I've got, and I was a picky eater, but I picked the things that didn't make me sick.  Since a large part of the things the kid is choosing not to eat are things I can't eat, we try not to push her to try it more because we'd like to avoid very bad reactions like I have had (think allergic reaction involving the emergency room).  When she was about 15 months old (or younger? I don't remember anymore...), we figured out she had a cow's milk allergy, but it went away at about 24 months, so that's a factor in letting her get away with avoiding some foods (ok, so lots of them).

The other thing we do wrong in feeding the kid is not eating at a table.  It takes her a long time to eat and in our general hurry to get through the (very extended by a deliberate but slow pace) evening things to do, we haven't made an effort to have everyone's meals ready simultaneously and the table available.  If we were all at a table with everyone's food ready at the same time, it would be an easier sell to get the kid to try new things and retry things she's declared she now hates.

Plan of attack for Little Monster: there will be no special kid-friendly meals, no matter what.  Little Monster will probably start off solids with table food that might get mushed up, or we might just go with full-on baby-led weaning with gagging allowed.  We're eating meals at the table starting now in practice for Little Monster's arrival and that will continue, come what may.  If we get in an awful financial spot again, we'll figure out a way to keep adequate food at least 2 meals a day by monitoring what's consumed at daycare more closely and we'll try hard to maintain a dinner schedule that includes vegetables as often as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I've been failing on the veggie front lately. MUST get back into it while she's still open to trying whatever. Thanks for the reminder. :)