food. it’s what’s for dinner… update

4 thoughts on “food. it’s what’s for dinner… update”

  1. I read that children who are picky eaters may possibly have a very enhanced sense of taste, so some things taste VERY STRONG to them, which may not taste so strong to the rest of us. And, it may be a textural thing as well. I was a picky eater, and I despised broccoli. Probably because my mom was a southern cook, and cooked it until it was soft and mushy, like she did all vegetables. Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve learned to like broccoli, but only because I cook it “al dente.” Cook it mushy and it still makes me want to yak. I love how you are encouraging him without being a tyrant about it. The compromise with the brown rice and the mac in cheese was an excellent move. It encourages him to explore other foods without making a big issue out of eating.

    But speaking of issues, darlin, I think you are working WAY too hard at this nutrition thing for him. You actually keep track of how many ounces of protein he eats every day? Really? What do you do when he goes to school? Do you think he actually eats all of the lunch you pack him? One of my friends had a little boy who ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches, applesauce and raw carrots from preschool through first grade. He’s a 6’2″ soldier now…and will eat anything. I wouldn’t have let my child get away with that, but still, he managed to grow up healthy.

    I had a very reasonable pediatrician for the first three of my four children. My friend from the above paragraph and I shared the same doctor. He told me that up until the age of six, if I could get one good meal per day down my child, consider it a good eating day. My younger son was picky picky picky from the time he was born. I tried to keep track of what he ate, etc, but with two others children and a full time job, it was kind of impossible. I just tried to make sure that his “snacks” consisted of good foods, and like you, I’d get him involved in the process of cooking supper, and would hand him bites of the veggies I was cutting for dinner. I just considered it part of his “one good meal” per day.

    I used to introduce new foods all of the time, and each of my four had to take at least one bite every time it was served. They had to have a “no-thank-you” helping. Sometimes they eventually grew to like whatever food it was. Other times, not so much. Once they hit middle school, I started respecting their food choices at the dinner table. If they really didn’t like something, they didn’t need to take a portion. That just left more for everyone else.

    And, know what? All four of my kids grew up to be adventurous eaters. They love trying foods of other cultures, love going to authentic restaurants and tasting the foods. They all love to cook new foods and try new recipes. I think its because we always tried to have a variety of foods on hand, and because we also are adventurous eaters who love to explore other cuisines and new foods and new ways to cook familiar foods.

    So relax a little and put away the scale. You keep putting a variety of healthy foods on the table and encouraging him to taste everything and he’ll come around.

    Love you!!


    1. Thanks, Girls.
      I didn’t mention what spurred this new goal. I wouldn’t be working so hard at it, and I wasn’t letting it worry me, until I started noticing a major connection between Israel’s protein intake and his behavior. I had strong suspicions, but when he only ate cheerios one day, he had several major meltdowns until I got some protein in him. I spoke with his pediatrician, who suggested I take a more proactive approach regarding protein while maintaining our offer-everything approach.

      Another reason for this change in my approach is his diet is now being “tried out” by Teagan. She thinks that boy hung the moon, so whatever he does, she must do.

      Third, we’ve recently joined a gym & we’ve been looking over our own eating habits. While we eat mostly healthfully, we also need to up our own lean proteins &, in doing so, have found great benefit, so it is a family affair.

      He’s impossible to convince to change his mind, so having him help make dinner has been really great to get him to at least taste new things.

      I know I can’t control every little thing my kids do, but I can teach him to make good food choices & set him up for great days at school.

  2. Steph,
    I am impressed that you are trying SO HARD to increase his protein or vary his foods in general. It is very hard I can attest to that for sure. Variety Variety Variety is the key I think? And NEVER stop giving them something that they are sure that they don’t like. Kids taste buds change with the wind. So keep up the good work. I would bore you to tears with the things my kids like one way but, not the other…Who can keep up or much less try too? Just serve it pretty, don’t short order cook and call it done. I love the ricotta and cocoa powder trick. What measurements should I use for that one. It would totally be a great snack in our house. Bravo to you! Keep up the good work momma! See you all soon!

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