Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guessing game

Lately, meals with Aliza have been a guessing game. As in, "I guess we'll see if she'll eat some chicken." And when that doesn't work, "I guess we'll try a grilled cheese." And then when that doesn't work, "I guess some pasta."

It's also a guessing game as we try to figure out what she is pointing to and saying during dinner. She is clearly trying to tell us what she wants, we just don't always know what she's saying.

She does love the three Ps: pasta, potato and pizza. She'll eat those any time at all and pretty much in any form too. But a kid can't live on carbs alone....

I think part of it is because we keep giving her the same thing. Not because I haven't tried new things, trust me, I have. Recently we tried quiche--eggs, veggies, cheese, maybe some meat, what could be better, right? She didn't like it. Oh, I know, sometimes kids don't like things the first time you give it to them. I've tried four times now. Spinach and quiche lorraine. Tonight she looked at me, picked up the quiche and tossed it right over the edge of her tray and onto the floor. I also tried homemade mac and cheese. What kid doesn't like mac and cheese? So it had veggies cooked into it but Russ and I loved it. Not Aliza. Right over the edge. Same with the homemade mozzarella. I'm cooking. A lot and often and many varied things. But she's not biting.

Tonight's dinner is a classic example. Tonight she ended up eating edamame, grapes, banana, and a muffin (that had carrots and banana baked into it, but don't tell her!). Before you think I'm a horrible Mom, I did try to get her to eat quiche. Then turkey. Then homemade chicken tenders. Then mozzarella sticks (also homemade with veggies cooked into them). Then sweet potato (which she requested but then mashed between her fingers, a first for her). Oh, and trust me, when she's older, I won't be offering her all these options. When she's older, dinner is dinner and that's it. But right now her tastes, and her teeth, are still developing and so much of what we eat isn't suitable for her still. Tonight she did want pudding when she had barely eaten anything at all and we did say no, not until she ate some chicken. She never ate the chicken but she also never got the pudding.

When she was younger (it's so funny to say that since she is, after all, only 1. But when she was an infant and didn't know any better.....) she would eat anything. Without a problem. Now? Now it's a guessing game.

So if there are any parents out there who have some advice on how to get a toddler to eat, well, I'm ready for it!


Tina said...

No one thinks you are a horrible mom! My pediatrician once told me to think of nutrition in terms of days or even a whole week: over that period of time if she eats a good mix of fruit, veggies, protein, carbs, and dairy, then she is fine. If you try to be balanced at every meal you'll just make yourself crazy. It was great advice, I think.

GramS said...

Couldn't have said it better. Ditto.... what Tina just said!
Thanks for the hit and run today!
Love GramS xoxox

Becky said...

Keep trying can take up to 15 times before a kid will try something and like it. I don't think I would worry too much about finding something she will eat at each meal either...she will not let herself starve. My mom always says that it is the parent's job to provide the food, but it is the child's job to eat it. Make sure you have one thing that she likes, but offer other things that she may not like as much. What also helped us was to make dessert something like fruit or animal crackers (or ice cream as the pediatrican said she could have as much vanilla ice cream as she wanted)...makes it easier later to serve fruit as dessert instead of cookies, cake, brownies, etc.

Nonna said...

Or have nonna feed her by hand.She seems to like that!
Ditto what Tina said.All in all she gets what she needs,just not all in the same day.

Dianna said...

It is so hard to watch that streak come out! Mason too was an amazing eater as a baby, and now it becoming WAY pickier. Now it quickly becomes art...on the wall or the floor, or my favorite...the swishing it around on his tray in protest! And the pointing and sounds for what he wants is so hard to decipher! I remember when I decided I was no longer serving a buffet at every meal for was hard, but I had to look at his day's nutrition rather than each meal. One other thing I find works with Mason...I feed him earlier and now ALWAYS give him his milk as I am getting his dinner ready, if he's not starving he is more likely to eat some "new things" that may not be his favorite! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

i am in love with this post - because we play the guessing game with our little john every. single. night. if i don't offer him 10 or more foods, he basically wouldn't eat!