I grew up hearing those words all the time. I’ve never been the perfectly health-conscious eater but when I got pregnant I tried so hard to eat the best way I knew how. Dessert was fruit and whipped cream; I didn’t eat what people “said“ not to eat. When I had Collin, I assumed I could just feed him food and he’d eat it. Yeah, yeah – I’d heard of picky babies and toddlers but not my son.
The issues first began with texture problems and then Collin’s milk allergy hit us. Despite making my own baby food, starting with vegetables to build his palate and the fact that he did eat pretty well for quite some time, today I have a picky toddler. Not the “I only want to eat chicken nuggets, pizza and mac and cheese“ picky toddler but the “I won’t eat anything but crackers“ type of toddler. To my knowledge, my son has never eaten a French fry, pizza or mac and cheese. I pray every week that at the end of the week he’s had some vegetables and meat and more than just jello (homemade with tons of fruit), club crackers, teddy grahams and apple slices.
I have finally been able to figure out some foods he loves at home that encourage him to slowly branch out. One big thing is the infamous “smoothie.“ He loves his smoothies. I use frozen fruit, Tropicana Farmstand (or V8 Splash), Greek yogurt, lots of raw spinach and one piece of fresh fruit, and blend it all together. At the end of the day he’s getting a drink he loves and I know he’s getting some super foods. I’ve added everything from mangoes to bananas to berries to broccoli to this smoothie – as long as you have berries to mask the color and vegetables, you’re good to go.
Another saving grace? Peer pressure from school. I never thought peer pressure could be a good thing, but it can. While it was a rough road to get him to eat at school, all his friends were “doing“ it. All of a sudden, he’s eating…and eating everything. He eats peas, pears and chicken noodle soup. I have no clue how and even though I cannot seem to get him to eat those items at home, I’m starting to be okay with it because I know he will get good, nutritious meals and snacks at school.