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Just Another Picky Eater

Posted by Kristen on October 26, 2009 at 6:26 AM in picky eater
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"Maybe this one will be your good eater," she said as she watched him shove fistfuls of whatever his father would put in front of him on the tray. Occasionally he would lean down and eat something off the seat that had been leftover from breakfast if his father didn't get the food into his mouth fast enough.

I laughed. You see, my two other boys were fabulous eaters. I remember when Eat turned one and he ate two scrambled eggs for breakfast every single day for a year. Even the doctor was stunned. Now he would prefer to have a nice piece of bread or a tortilla with peanut butter and jelly.

Nate never liked vegetables but he would eat pretty much everything else until he turned two. What is it with the magic "two-year-old" mark in our house? Not that it matters today, since Mason is only seven months old. I think I'll just keep dishing up that cup of Irish oatmeal for breakfast every day and live in the moment.

So did you ever have the rise and fall of healthy food with yours? Please share. And don't forget to tweet to have your chance at winning that awesome Buddy costume. Today is the last day.


Amber writes...

We had the rise and fall of healthy eating with my 4-year-old. As a baby she ate things like lentil soup and pureed squash. As a 4-year-old she is much more picky. She's also legalistic, and asks questions like, "How many more bites do I need until I can have dessert?" Fun!

Vanessa writes...

Our two year old was a champion eater, until right after he turned two, now he is picky, and some days eats normal, and other days not much at all. I'm starting to think this is normal.

Jess writes...

YES! Age two does seem to flip a switch in the kids' brains and suddenly they go from eating up spicy channa masala to eating nothing but yogurt and PB&J. What the heck?

So far our third son (who is closing in on two, oh no!) is a big eater and eats the best variety of protein sources of the three brothers. I've noticed him starting to get picky, though, and asking more and more for pasta and less for bites of Mexican chicken dishes. Gah.

The good news: my 6-year-old is getting better at trying new things and at expanding his repertoire of foods he'll eat up. Some nights I can prepare an identical plate for him as I do for his father and myself (as in, nothing separated out or made more bland) and he cleans the plate. Some nights. His 4.5 y/o brother recently added a couple of veggies to his regular favorites, too. Hooray for forward motion!

Carol writes...

Childrens' taste buds change around age 2. Flavours that are intense or spicy become more noticeable and can either overwhelm or repel. In 45 years of babysitting, I have seen a lot of about-turns. I deal with this by getting the children involved with food purchase and preparation (it's even better if you can get them growing fruits, vegetables and herbs); they are more likely to eat food that is their idea or effort. It is also fairly easy to make a portion of your spicy meal a bit blander; for example, adding extra tomato sauce to the Puttanesca will make it less fiery.
Above all, you have to be careful not to turn eating into a power struggle. My Dad was raised in a poor household during the Depression; he made us eat everything on our plates. To this day, my (50-something year old) sister leaves at least a mouthful on her plate--and Dad died in 1993!

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