I am a picky eater. I always have been. I prefer my foods separated, I don’t like tomatoes or ketchup, but I do like marinara sauce… I dislike frosting, and other things that are extremely sweet. I only like onions in specific cases, I dislike Chinese food, super spicy things, melon in all forms, cucumbers, BBQ sauce, and so many other things I’ve lost count. When I like something it tends to be very specific, from a specific place, I can’t drink milk too close to the expiration date because I can taste it as it starts to go… I don’t care for leftovers because of this. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m crazy.
Really the fact that I can quickly names all the foods my almost 4 year old will eat should not surprise me. Broccoli, noodles, chicken, cheese, bread, fries, grapes, anything with frosting, and sometimes other fruit. I wonder if it’s my fault (probably in the form of genes, yes), I wonder if it’s because we were so excited to introduce the fun foods, like fries, that we didn’t make sure he had a taste for nutritious foods first… Maybe, if only, we had kept trying puree peas he would be a different eater. Maybe he’d be the kid chowing down at the trendy gourmet vegan restaurant and I’d be bragging about his love of kale. Yes, you can laugh at me now… Here, let me get down from my unicorn.
Yet, as a mother there is this nagging little voice that reminds me constantly about unbalanced meals, inadequate nutrition, and I scour the internet for a miracle thing that will help me change his eating habits. (Really, it’s mostly articles like this) I’m not sure about some. Can I really let him go hungry? To set something out and just wait until he’s hungry enough that he’ll try it? Maybe… Mealtimes together, at the table, are something we’re working towards consistency. When he decides he’s done, he just gets up to go play and I’m not sure how to keep him sitting with us without a fight. We already serve him what we’re eating. I cook things with good things mixed in, I encourage fruit for snacks, he gets a multi-vitamin, and keep snacks consistent and at least 2 hours away from meals.
I worry, of course. I know I’m doing all the STUFF, but… He refuses to try new things. Some days he’ll only eat mac n’ cheese. He’ll want the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some days he barely eats and others he voraciously devours meal after meal plus snacks. I’m told these things are normal. I know it’s normal… I do the same thing. I once ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday for three weeks straight, when I was 20. From his blue eyes to his short temper, he is me in so many ways. Maybe, I’ll stop worrying about it… What? Get off the unicorn?