Sunday, January 3, 2010


If I have to cook one more mother loving fish stick, so help me.

We are in a rut. Eliot's preferred diet consists of the following: Pirate Booty (all flavors), apples, clementines, fruit leathers (all flavors), yogurt, applesauce, carrots, toast with butter or jam, raisins, couscous, occasional cheese, Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal, milk, and fish sticks. So many goddamn fish sticks.

Of course, it's my responsibility as his mother to feed him a proper balanced diet. It's really me that's in the rut, I just kept feeding him things I knew he would eat, not wanting a fight on the food front. But I can take it no more. I've made a little headway by introducing a morning smoothie into the routine that contains fruit, yogurt, milk, and flax seed (if I remember). I'm planning on sneaking some spinach in the mix and telling him it will make him green like the Hulk.

In an attempt to expand his palette, I've been including samples of our dinner on his plate for the past few evenings with very limited success. Actually, it might be more accurate to report these attempts as failures. He takes the most minuscule taste (as in, it touched his tongue for a tenth of a millisecond) of veggie burger or avocado and he will loudly announce with a look of disgust, "I do not like it!"


I really don't want to give him nutrition by sneaking vitamins into brownies or whatever deceptive means being currently recommended by certain celebrity wives. I would really like him to actually acquire a life-long love of eating flavorful, healthy food. But right now, I'm feeling a little desperate.

Moms of picky eaters, help!


JJ said...

I'm really just commenting cuz I love when you blog!!
But seriously. This is a tough one. I went on a big "Syl will eat exactly what we're eating" kick for a while. But frankly, it's harder to make 1 big meal that 4 people will all successfully eat. So we meet in the middle. Easton and Syl get what we're eating, plus their favorites too. I alone think we keep the cottage cheese factories in business. It's hard when you know what they like, and you know they'll eat all of it. My suggestion is to not make it a big deal, always put some of your food on his plate, and use dessert rewards. I grew up on canned vegetables/fruits and powdered milk and I find I have a diverse (and healthy) palette. He'll come around, plus kids get in ruts too. Maybe he's comfortable and unwilling to try new things cuz he knows you'll cave. Kids are so manipulative!
I always sneak spinach in the smoothies. What they don't know makes them healthier!! Good luck!

JJ said...

Damn that was a long response. Sorry!

Astrid Rose said...

Put new stuff and some stuff he will eat for sure as options. It's your job to provide nutrition and they're job to choose what goes in their mouths (this is from a child nutritionist). Supposedly it takes nine tries of something new before they like it.

Me? A Mom? said...

okay, here's some perspective for you. What Eliot eats is about three times what Lila will eat. You're doing a great job, in my opinion, but then again I would have no idea where I'd even find flaxseed much less think to put it in food. :)

I take more of the gummy vitamin route personally. I'm convinced these were made for lazy moms like me.

Sara said...

Heather, we are going through the same exact thing now! And Ava's choices are pretty much the same as Eliot's, minus the fish sticks. I do always give her some of our food even if I'm making something else for her, and I also try to make one meal for the whole family that I know she'll like (tacos, spaghetti). I am often amazed that she will randomly try something new after refusing for a long time. I guess it's just a 2-3 year old phase. I am further handicapped in the meal preparation department by a picky husband! It's not easy!

Meghan said...

i have actually heard that it can take up to 40 tries before a child might like a new food. just keep offering, and don't make an issue of it. i agree with jj about the "rut" - children like the same foods, the same bedtime stories, the same rocket ship pajamas, etc.

here is some advice from my hero:

I like his advice to "aim for a nutritionally balanced week, not a balanced day."

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Kate said...

ok, everyone has already covered all of the obvious suggestions, so I'll just name a couple of specific foods (in case you haven't tried these):

--refried black beans (from a can - easy peasy). If he's suspicious of those, try adding some shredded cheese on top;

--canned pumpkin (plain - not the pumpkin pie mix) + vanilla yogurt = tastes a lot like pumpkin pie, esp. if you add a dash of cinnamon. But the pumpkin is uber healthy.

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pleasantlyfurious said...

1. How did I not know this blog existed?!

2. I have no advice - especially without a love for peanut butter

3. Actually - wait - I know he loves yogurt, and this doesn't get you out of a rut, but could pack in some extra protein. Those greek-style fruit on the bottom yogurts (we get them by the case at costco) have 14 g / protien per serving.

Good luck!