|Little T rockin' a Clemson Tigers ski hat for my |
sister, his "Aunt T."
We are constantly struggling to make sure that T gets balanced nutrition while he is with us. While we cannot control what he eats at his mom's house, we can certainly control what we let him eat when he is with us. He is certainly one of the pickiest children I've ever met. He'll eat chicken, but doesn't like red meat (or likes it less than chicken), or pork. He'll eat his body weight in bacon or sausage, but don't even attempt to give him pork tenderloin. He (until recently) refused to let new food items sit on his plate, particularly if they were green. If it was "new," it was taken off his plate and placed onto the (cringe!) glass-top kitchen table. He'll eat carrots (raw only), but don't give him any green veggies. *Sigh* I think you get my drift. While I'm all for a multi-vitamin (Flinstone's, anyone?!), I am a big proponent of getting the majority of your nutrition through your meals! I've even pureed cauliflower into "mashed potatoes."
We have gotten into the habit of placing all food items we are eating for dinner on T's plate. We do not offer him an alternative meal - what we eat is what he eats. I spoke with a pediatrician at length about the best "plan of attack" for getting kids to try new things. His response was simple, but oh-so-brilliant: "Do not force him to try anything new or to eat anything in particular. Do not fix him an alternative meal. Simply feed him what you are eating for that particular meal. Do not introduce many things at one meal. Simply add one new item each dinner time. If he is hungry, he will eat. Kids have a wonderfully ingrained mechanism that won't let them starve. If he is hungry enough, he will try something new."
So while it has been extremely hard, we have followed his advice. Low and behold, Thomas has been (slowly) adapting and even asking to try new things. Recently, he has asked to try green beans (which promptly received a disgusted face), cantaloupe (which he promptly spit out after a few chews), hummus (which he devoured like it was his last meal), and mango (which he ate a few bites of but didn't seem too thrilled)...While it seems like a small thing (and to some it may be. Aren't you lucky to have a child that will eat whatever you put in front of them?! I envy you!), these moments have been a huge victory for us! T has been not only willing to try new foods, but he's also been ASKING to try new foods!
Small Victory this weekend: T asking to try new foods! HUGE success for us! And a GREAT reminder that it's the smallest parts of life that make it so great!