Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Call for Help

Dear readers, I am at my wits' end. I am hoping that some of you out there have been in my shoes and can offer some advice.

Caleb, our 3-year-old, refuses to eat fruits and vegetables. In fact, he refuses to eat most foods, but the fruits and vegetables are the biggest problem. Here are the foods Caleb will eat:
  • whole wheat bread
  • crackers--lots of different kinds
  • tortillas
  • Corn Chex
  • Fruity Cheerios
  • pretzels
  • pancakes--I make banana pancakes to get a little fruit in there
  • bacon--we only give him turkey bacon that is nitrite and nitrate-free
  • deli ham--specific brands only, nitrite and nitrate-free
  • deli turkey--specific brands only
  • cubed or sliced cheese--pretty much any hard cheese
  • grilled cheese sandwiches--only homemade
  • bananas--if bribed
  • plain low-fat yogurt
  • raisins--once a month maybe he'll consent to eating one
  • fruit leather--he's eaten this 2 or 3 times, but usually leaves it untouched
  • rice cakes--chocolate
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares--banana flavor only
  • Chick FilA chicken strips--not nuggets, not any other type of chicken
  • peanut butter crackers--sometimes--and he's had a peanut butter sandwich once
  • Apple juice, very diluted (2 oz juice, 8 oz water)
  • 1% or 2% milk
That's just about it. He'll eat some junk food if we'd let him--chips, fries, cookies, chocolate--but of course we try to keep that stuff away from him. He won't eat pasta, pizza, fish, beef, eggs, or pretty much anything I serve the rest of the family. Isaac, at 1 year, eats a much wider variety of foods than Caleb ever has.

Caleb didn't like fruits, veggies, and meats much even as a baby. He loved pureed sweet potatoes, and he loved yogurt mixed with apple/blueberry baby food. But gradually he stopped eating those things.

I know that part of his problem is my fault. When he started solids, I didn't push the finger foods. Sure, I gave him things like Cheerios and those Gerber puffs, but I didn't give him diced banana, carrot, pear, grapes, avocado, etc. like Isaac gets on a regular basis. I just didn't educate myself enough then.

By the time I had Isaac, I had decided to really change the way we were eating in our house. Now we eat organic foods whenever possible, we eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and nuts, we use flax seed in our meals, etc. Isaac is growing up with these things as the norm. Caleb got set in his bad habits and we let him. NOW what? We've been trying to alter his diet for at least 1.5 years--half of his life--and it hasn't gotten very far.

I know other moms who are able to sneak veggies in their kids' pasta sauces and things like that. But Caleb doesn't really eat "mixed" foods.

The way he eats is so embarrassing to me. I mean, here's a typical diet for me: on Thursday (before I got the flu and stopped eating), I had
  • Raisin Bran with skim milk for breakfast
  • Carrots with hummus and a fruit smoothie (nonfat yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, flaxseed oil, wheat germ) for lunch
  • Trail mix for a snack (raw almonds, raw cashews, raisins, M&Ms)
  • Baked salmon, peas, and orange-glazed carrots (I know, I was craving the carrots that day!) for dinner
  • Air-popped popcorn for a late night snack while hubby and I watched a movie
If Caleb would eat even some of that, I'd be THRILLED!

I was so excited when I saw the Parenting magazine cover for this month. It says, "Got a Picky Eater? Makeovers that Work." I quickly opened it up and read through the article. Man, was I disappointed. Evidently they went to a preschool and had all the moms write down what their kids eat for a whole week. They took the "pickiest" eater and put her week's menu in the magazine, and they had a nutritionist offer suggestions on how to make the kid eat better.

But guess what this kid eats! Waffles, orange juice, pizza, ravioli, chicken breast, chicken nuggets, rice, rice pudding, cranberry juice, apples, mac and cheese, pears, brisket with gravy, matzo-ball soup, corn....

That's the pickiest kid they could find???? I was so disheartened.

So, dear readers, if any of you have ideas on how to get Caleb to eat better, please share them with me. I would be so thankful. Every meal turns into a battle, and I don't want it that way. Should we see a nutritionist? Have any of you done that?

1 comment:

Mandy and Jack said...

Obviously I don't have kids, nor do I know anything about anything, but does he like fruit juice or V8 juice?