Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food of choice

Feeding a toddler is a crap shoot. I put little piles of this and that on his plate in hopes of him eating at least one. I assume every parent has their go to foods. That's probably why the kid's menus are loaded up with Mac-n-Cheese, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, & french fries. We try to stay away from most of these. We had our own list of foods to turn to when the family meal just didn't appeal: bananas, string cheese, buttered rice, hummus, & chicken. Lately, Jack won't even eat these. Those oh so helpful books claim that toddlers are fickle and sometimes just aren't hungry. That's nonsense. Jackson is famished every 3 hours. I think we've just already worn out the list of last resort. He's at the point where he couldn't possibly convince himself to eat another bite of egg! Thsi is way too soon for us to be out of options, by the way.
Now, I'm back to scrambling at mealtimes, and offering a series of things until Jack agrees to eat. Tonight, my go to food was Indian curry chicken. Yup--I made Indian special in a last ditch effort to get my boy to eat.
First, let me say how grateful I am to Trader Joe's for putting the sauce in a jar; not to mention grateful that TJ's is less than an hour away. I can go there occasionally to stock up on these crucial items. I shop at TJ's the way most people shop at warehouse clubs.
I'm wondering what it says about me as a parent that I'm already going through this much effort to bribe my child into eating. Am I coddling him too much? I'm sure if I had a 6 year old, I would direct him to the peanut butter stock in the pantry. I'm going to rationalize that its a bit different with a child this young. After all, he can't tell me what he'd rather eat (except to point to the freezer and the smoothie fixin's within). Besides, if I can't coax him into eating, I'm the one who suffers having to listen to his whining and pleas to be held in the short term, and a few hours later, listen to him wail when he wakes up starving in the middle of the night.
I will take credit that the current food of last resort is something as complex as Indian curry. Now if I could only convince him to eat some vegetables.

Leave me your toddler friendly choices in the comments section. Thanks.


  1. Oh no! How frustrating. Can you sneak things into his smoothies? I am curious to read people's input on this.

  2. i wish i had more substantive advice, but don't, as elliot subsists mostly on a diet of hotdogs, pb&J, and scrambled eggs. and yogurt and fruit, etc--the only green thing he eats is peas, and that not always.

    it is extremely frustrating, but we try to just go with it. I TRY to always offer him some of whatever we are eating, but not stress about it, and just trust that an organic peanut butter and fruit diet might not be the best thing in the world, but it won't kill you, either.

    we've also gone back and forth between having a real mealtime routine--no you sitdown, now you have your table, now you eat your food--but sometimes he actually eats more if you just follow him around as he plays, and wedge little bites into his mouth as you can. so it goes.

    he's just never been a big eater...we try to offer him things, and be persistent, but not to worry about him just being himself.

    good luck!

  3. oh, also, elliot does like various protein bars--brandon's recipe is alton brown's (on our blog somewhere) and it's quick good, if you're okay with your kid eating soy. often we leave out the protein powder. but when desperate (e is an even worse eater when we're anyplace more exciting than home) i'll give him cliff bars or other such thing. lots of calories, if very processed ones...

  4. So glad others are frustrated about this. I need to blog about my attempt to make homemade little pizzas for Ethan so he wouldn't have to have eggs or pb&j again, but Ethan would. not. eat. it. He preferred a plain old English muffin instead.

    Most days Ethan is a great eater, but then all of a sudden he just won't eat something that he's always loved, and then the next time we feed it to him, he gobbles it down. So frustrating!

    Let's see. . . favorite foods. . .similar to Jackson. . . eggs, waffles, pancakes, tortillas and cheese, rice, chicken, ***pork!*** (he loves that and beer brats--true German, ha ha), salmon (sometimes), and just about any fruit we'll offer him.

    For lunch I just have to keep rotating grilled cheese, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, or whatever I have for leftovers that he might happen to like that day. (I'm not very organic, but Ethan does love his fruit and vegetables, so I'm cool with that).

    Can't wait to hear more insight from others!

  5. Did I mention Jack loves beans? A shocking contrast to his mama. Today, I picked the black beans out of my quesadilla, and Jackson eagerly devoured them.

    On this topic, I'm not sure what value it is to continue feeding him items he can't digest--beans, peas, corn, raisins... Is it just practice for the day that he will be able to digest them? Is it some kind of validation that atleast I try to feed him vegetables? Hopefully he's getting some nourishment from them, because I'm sick of seeing their reappearance 5 hours later.

  6. Somewhere I read that toddlers can reject a food multiple times before trying it, so I guess my recommendation is that you keep adding the one new food to his different options at dinner. He might get around to it someday.

    Best, Whitney

  7. I can only agree with other comments, but I will add one small addition. Bree really likes cucumbers. I cut them up and she carries a baggie around eating them like potato chips.
    P.S. I LOVE TJs- luckily I have one only 20 minutes away!

  8. If only I could get him to eat cucumbers.

  9. I read somewhere that you have to introduce a food 7 times before a kid will eat it. I'm a "mean" mom and I make my kids eat what we cook because I was tired of being a short-order cook, but that only works on older kids. ;)
    Ewan loves to eat apples, sliced very thin. He also loves your tortellini soup, just gobbles it up. My brain isn't working right now, I wish I could think of more things to help.
    Just keep plugging on. Toddlers will eat when they are hungry, sometimes they graze, sometimes they inhale. When they learn how to chew more, you'll find less undigested food in diapers. haha =D