Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eating Habits

I had no idea before I became a mom how much of my time and frustration would revolve around mealtime or preparing for it.  Have I mentioned that Steven is a picky eater?  Oh, I have!?  Yes, well, let me say it again...he is a VERY picky eater.  In the last month, his pickiness has hit an all-time high which means that our dread of feeding him has hit an all-time high as well.

The last few weeks I have been limiting snacks and since that helped, we have completely eliminated afternoon snacks because he usually sleeps late enough that I can hold him off for an early dinner.  The weird thing is that Steven doesn't really asks for them anyway so I've quit offering and just wait until he asks for something and then I fill in with whatever he didn't eat at the last meal.  This is working pretty well, so mealtime is going a little better this week.  I've heard that toddlers are picky and don't eat meals like we consider them as three solid meals a day, but I think Steven is an extreme case and just doesn't like to eat period.  That's especially weird considering that his parents love food!!  
I have also stopped giving him options.  I put dinner in front of him and if he doesn't eat it after plenty of time then I tell him he's all done.  I think that's helped a lot too.  I try to give him one or two things I know he likes with something else either new or not a favorite.  Last night he ate a rare but really good dinner of string cheese, a few bites of rotisserie chicken and BBQ sauce, corn on the cob and cantaloupe- he LOVES corn on the cob.  You know you're from Texas when one of your child's first 100 words is "Barbecue."  Please leave me a comment if you have any other suggestions for getting a picky toddler to eat better.  =)     


Jenn said...

You're gonna hate to hear this but I have no suggestions as Tegan eats EVERYTHING! My old neighbor, though, started doing the same thing you did: putting a plate of food in front of her toddler/preschooler and saying that's what your getting. Once the specified time has passed she says "all done" and takes it away ant that's it until the next meal. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Every night before dinner I put out a plate of appetizers! Raw carrots, grapes, sliced celery, watermelon. Whatever I have on hand. All really healthy stuff. They think they are getting a snack before dinner, but it is a way for me to get them to eat all the stuff that might be left on their plate. They almost always still have room for their chicken and rice or pasta, or whatever dinner is that night.

The Jasters said...

Oh my goodness! I can completely relate to this post. Luke is an EXTREMELY picky eater. The only food group that is always a winner is fruit. He has never met a fruit he doesn't like.:o) I stress out alot about him not eating protein and vegetables, so I have been doing the same thing you do with Steven- giving him his meal and telling him that is what you're getting. If he refuses to eat it (or throw it-it's usually the latter,) I take him out of his high chair and tell him "all done." I have seen a little progress with this approach. If you find any great ways to get Steven to eat healthy foods, let me know! I need some tips!:O)

The Enchanted One said...

I'll tell you what has worked wonders with Amanda. We started by putting a super-tiny amount of each part of dinner on her plate, and I mean TINY! Example: 1 small bite of brocolli, 1 small bite of chicken, 1 tiny bite of bread and butter. And that's it. Once she finishes that she can have more of any of those things we are serving for dinner. The other kids thought it was hilarious, but it worked. Then, over time, we would increase the amounts (especially veggies) a little bit at a time, but still mostly small amounts. Now that she's 5 1/2 I still do this to some degree. Instead of a full piece of bread like the other kids, she gets 1/2 a piece and all her portion sizes are smaller, but once she eats what we give her she can have more. That's it!

Collegegirl said...

Try fruit, usually a keeper. Pasta and chicken are also great too!
Hope he becomes unpicky soon!!!

~the eight of us~ said...

No advice ... kids are so different and have such different taste.

Just wanted to say he is so cute and I love the pictures.

Sean, Stephanie and Hattie said...

The only advice I have (as Hattie will eat almost anything) is keep trying. Hattie hated alvocado from the age of 6 months until last month. Now she loves it and eats it like twice a week since they are in season right now. I just kept offering it to her over and over again.

Plus, with her, it seems to help if I serve her exactly what I'm eating instead of trying to make her something separate. Less work for me, and she likes that her plate looks just like Mommy's and Daddy's.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Have you tried dips and sauces?

My kids will eat anything if they can dip it in Ranch or ketchup or BBQ sauce. I had a friend who used Ragu alfredo sauce for the same results.

Canned whipped cream is a winner too.