Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picky, Picky

Amelia has always been an eater. When we went to her two week check up, she had nursed so much that she had a callous on her lip. She wasn't all that thrilled with solid foods when she was four months old, so we waited till she was six months. When we tried again, she was excited to eat and would grab the spoon and shove it in her mouth. It was fabulous. I foolishly thought that my child would not put us through the difficult paces of a picky eater. She would try anything, and even if she made a face, I could still shovel it in her mouth, make a happy noise, and convince her to take another bite. I made the decision that Amelia would not have any juice unless it was a special occasion, and we used processed foods as treats. Her cheerios were the regular kind rather than honey nut or apple cinnamon, and she loved them. I decided that I had this eating thing down, and raising a child with healthy eating habits would be one of the areas that I would excel.

First time mommies. So overconfident.

Or at least I am, apparently. If I had to pinpoint it, I would say this pickiness started back in August when we went on vacation. Like most vacations, we went out to eat a lot, and one of the frequent meal choices for Amelia was green beans. However, green beans in a restaurant are often not just dumped from the can and seasoned with salt and pepper. Oh, no, they are slow cooked in onion and bacon pieces and simmered to deliciousness. She loved them. Then we got home and gave her our regular old green beans, slightly warm with little seasoning. She turned her head and looked at us like we had bugs crawling out of our ears.

Fast forward to October and I am battling a little one who smashes her carrots around on her tray, throws her cheerios overboard to the dog, and determined yesterday that she can use her tongue to push distasteful food back out of her mouth. I, like many moms, am facing the eternal parenting question... Do I say, oh well, that's your meal, guess you'll be hungry then? Or do I give her what I know she'll eat? At eleven months old, I know I can't tell her you can't leave your seat until you have a bite of everything. So my current tactic is, offer her the food she isn't so fond of first, while hiding what she wants (generally fruit-- I have yet to see her refuse to eat any kind of fruit-- so far, anyways). Then when she gives me that determined I am not eating anymore of this look, I give her the fruit until she's full.

It works for now. Still, I wonder what eating related challenges I will face as she gets older. Also, I wonder if she'll turn into a human blueberry like the naughty little girl on Willy Wonka. Or, in her case, a peach.

Here is a video I found of when she was four months old and we tried solids. If you add a little hair to her head, this is pretty much how she looks now when we feed her anything except chicken, fruit or cheese.

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