Parenting has taught me many valuable lessons; for example, children enjoy making you run after them to make them put on clothes, they enjoy you asking them twelve times to put their shoes on and they love to call you over and over again even when they have nothing to say when you respond. Oh, the joys of parenting!
Lately, my three year old has been having food issues. No, she’s not allergic to anything. My daughter has always been slightly underweight, but she had no problems eating. She has turned very picky about what she is willing to eat. A kid that I’ve caught eating Play Dough! She really only seems to like potatoes. Boiled potatoes, to be exact. I try giving her different types of foods. Chicken nuggets cut into cute characters, colorful vegetable medleys, and potatoes cooked in different ways. She has two key phrases she uses when presented with something she doesn’t want to eat; one is “this is nasty” the other is “eso pica” (that is spicy). Lucky for me she is bilingual and can insult my cooking in two languages! She always asks for “chicken nuggets and ice cream” but doesn’t necessarily eat them if you give them to her. When I asked my very cool hipster pediatrician what I should do to make her eat and gain some weight, he simply said to keep giving her what she likes, and add other foods on the side. He said “kids eat when they are hungry.” To me that didn’t sound like great advice, but I was willing to try it.
My first thought was “I know the library has tons of info on this.” I found great books in the library catalog about picky eaters and cookbooks on how to make food look more appealing for young children. The library also carries great parenting magazines with tips on how to make sure picky eaters get the right nutrition.
The Mayo Clinic and Kids Health.org have great articles on what to do.
I am actively doing these things and have also found she will try some things her brother is eating (she just takes it off of his plate). She might not finish it, but we have to start somewhere. All it takes some days is a “that’s not your plate, please don’t touch”, and I win. Other days, I have to give in and boil her a potato. I might be some kind of parenting evil genius! 😉