06 January 2008

I'm Rolling My Eyes Right Now

Flynn is driving me crazy.

My 4-year-old daughter is what one might call a finicky eater. White foods (potatoes as long as they're mashed, plain spaghetti or any other kind of noodles, bread, bananas, mozzarella cheese, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese) are all good. As are apples and pears if they haven't oxidized. Pretty much all fruit are acceptable. Broccoli is one of her favorite foods but not to be outdone is her love of butter. She will frequently ask, "Mommy? Can I have butter on a spoon?" The only meat that will pass her lips is ham. And Tirolier (a German bologna), what she calls "omaloney", a conglomeration of "Oma"(what she calls my Austrian mother-in-law) and "baloney". She will not eat pizza. Chicken will be consumed in nugget form only. Ixnay on the beloved mac and cheese. I know? Who can say "no" to mac and cheese? Certainly not me. But she does love chives. She will graze on chives by the fistful in my MIL's garden and then give me big stinky onion-breath kisses.

Her picky-ness confounds me. I am not a picky eater. Nor, is my husband or my son. Yes, there are foods we are not fond of but it's a pretty short list.

Tonight was the mother of all fights to get her to eat. I made corned beef, potatoes and brussles spouts. Admittedly, I knew she wouldn't eat 2 of the 3 items on the plate so I supplemented with a slice of bread (whole wheat which my kids prefer to white) and butter. She made a big deal of what was on her plate, "I didn't want this for dinner! I'm not eating this! This is yuk!" As you can imagine, her dad and I were not amused. She forced herself to swallow a few forkfuls of potato (which was mashed up with a fork and had butter on it) and eat her half-slice of bread before she proclaimed, "I'm all done. May I be excused from the table?" She was told to sit down and eat her dinner.

30 minutes and much wailing and gnashing of teeth later, she still hadn't finished. I told her she had to eat 3 more bites or no books before bed (that consequence ALWAYS works at my house). Lots of drama and tears ensued but she ate the 3 bites. Then she ate a slice of deli ham and a cheese stick and drank all her milk.

Most of the time I'm not really worried about her diet. But today I didn't want her to eat just a bit of potato and a slice of bread. That's not a meal. It's not healthy. I also don't want to badger her about it since she is 4 and I don't want her to have any food hang-ups like I did. When I talk to her about food it's in the context of making healthy choices. There aren't any forbidden foods, just ones that aren't the best for our bodies.

So, do I just let it go and figure that her body will sort itself out? That she'll get the nutrition she needs over the course of the week?

This picky eating thing is maddening and worrying all at the same time. Ugh.


Mrs. Chicken said...

The Poo is currently eating only mac n' cheese, waffles and bananas. It drives me stark raving mad. She seems to like certain smells, but her texture issues prevent her from enjoying what she obviously would if she would just TRY IT.

ps- can you send some of those mashed potatoes this way? they sound divine.

MidlifeMutant said...

I would always offer her what the family is eating and if she chooses not to eat give her something generic. But however you choose to handle it I wouldn't give her decision not to eat much attention.

Jenna said...

I think my 4yo would get along with yours well. He did branch out to fish sticks lately...a nice change from chicken nuggets. I always offer him what the rest of us are eating...but you can't force them. My other two will eat anything!