Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Picky Eater

If you are a parent, you've probably had some experience with at least one picky eater. For those who have luckily avoided this "phase", I can honestly say that I am jealous!

I have not just experienced this with one child, but have had the opportunity to endure this phase with multiple children. So far, all of them have eaten very well as infants, but they soon grew out of that stage. Next came the stage where they only eat certain foods. Ashleigh went through a phase of only eating tomatoes. ALL. THE. TIME! Oddly enough I hate tomatoes. Cutting them up made me ill, actually it still makes me ill. But I powered through it and made sure she had as many tomatoes as she wanted. Cooper's phase was chicken nuggets. I truly could not tell you the last time I consumed a nugget. The thought of meat being formed into a shape...ick! Now Addison, well she has always been a fan of food. Even if she ends up not liking it, she still is all for trying it...usually. She evens tries Genevieve's baby food and gives me her honest feed back. She has actually liked most of what Jenna gets, which makes me wonder if I should just revert them all back to infant purees. Genevieve is already showing a strong personality when it comes to her food. She will not eat the regular Gerber baby foods that I gave to the others. She likes the expensive, organic, mixed purees that I can only find at one store, Target.

Every night, I server dinner and there is a simultaneous "UGH" that comes from their precious little mouths. Even if one of them is happy with what we are eating, the other two are not.No matter what, it seems as though I can never appease them. I have tried making mini sized portions to see if they like have their own personal meal. I have had them help me with the cooking, hoping they would enjoy the cooking so much that they might also enjoy eating the meal they helped prepare. It is actually starting to really bug me. They don't even enjoy menu items that I will eat (meatloaf, rigatoni/spaghetti, pizza, turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn,etc) and I consider myself a pretty picky eater.  Typically we can get them to eat what has been put on their plate, but it is usually a fight. Not all of them dislike the above but it's hard to make something for everyone, if it is already known that someone doesn't like a particular food.

I'm in a rut because I have also come to dislike meals altogether. It has to be one of the biggest arguements in our house. The simple questions of, "what's for breakfast?","what's for lunch?", and "what's for dinner?" all have the same answer, "I don't know, what do you want?". I would personally love to eat healthier and somehow teach my children to enjoy food and always attempt to try new things. The problem with that is I am basically being a hypocrite since I don't like most foods and rarely try new things.

The other day Paul mentioned an article that he read. I asked him what the outcome was but he said he gave up on the article because I would just add it to one of the many disorders that I have LOL So I found it last night and whether what I have is actually a disorder of sorts or not, I can definitely relate. I can see where it may be a possible sensory issue ( my foods can't touch each other, I don't like cold foods mixed with hot, I can't stand the texture of certain foods, and the smell of most foods makes me gag, leftovers are a huge no-no) and how it could be difficult to overcome, especially since I do not see me improving anytime soon. I can't eat lettuce on sandwiches (it's crunchy compared to a soft textured sandwich), I hate the texture of bananas, the smell of tomatoes, brocolli, fish. The list goes on an on. I can't stand to prepare meat as it usually involves alot of gagging, especially if I actually have to touch it, and by the time I finally sit down to eat dinner, I no longer want it.

I have always tried to hide my pickiness. Even if I don't like something, I will prepare it. One exception to this rule is for things that I can't handle the smell of, such as fish. I made the mistake of cooking fish once and I swear I could smell it for weeks, so now if Paul wants fish, he has to order it when we go out to eat. Looking at how the kids eat makes me wonder if I did infact influence their eating habits,even though I've tried super hard to mask it. Could it be genetic if it is actually a disorder and more sensory related?

As of right now, Ashleigh and Cooper mainly take after me and are the worst with eating. Addison takes after Paul (who has no food issues) and she typically doesn't hesitate to at least try foods but does have her own opinions about them. We will have to wait and see who Genevieve takes after, although she does seem to be taking after Addy, the whole being picky with her food is throwing me off. I can only hope that I haven't scarred these kids for life and will have to look into other ways to get them eat/enjoy what they are given for meal times while praying that it is, infact, just a "phase".

healthy food clipart

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