The Picky Eater

Once upon a time,  I had a little baby boy that would eat all the veggies and fruits. He loved his jars of pureed green beans, bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, and peas. When he got a little bigger, he’d chow down on more peas, edamame, avocado, and apple slices than you’d think could fit in a 20 pound person.

Then the little boy turned 2. Fruits and vegetables were instantly banished from his dinosaur plate and bowl. His Mickey Mouse spoon would never again scoop up peas. His Elmo fork would never see a piece of potato stuck to its tines.

Now the little boy is 3, He is as skinny as the damned string beans that he refuses to eat, and is probably only saved from nutrient deficiencies by the grace of Flintstones vitamins.

Here is list of what X will eat:

  • Chicken nuggets
  • Fish sticks (sometimes)
  • Tater tots (the barrel-shaped ones, not the flattened ones)
  • Ketchup
  • Taco sandwiches (AKA tacos, but unless we call it a taco sandwich he thinks it’s weird and won’t eat it. Also, it cannot have lettuce or visible beans or avocado or salsa.)
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Rice
  • Filet mignon
  • Salmon
  • Cheeseburgers from McDonalds (not the damned tasty ones that Jay makes at home)
  • NatureBox Figgy Bars
  • Nuts
  • Macaroni and cheese. Not all kinds, by the way. And there is no way of knowing which he will or will not eat.
  • Alpha-Bits (only with SuperWhy! on the box)

List complete.

Ways to know what X will or will not eat.

  • Are there any visible fruits? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Are there any visible vegetables? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Are there any colors that may be reminiscent of fruits or vegetables? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Did it come with a toy? He probably will eat it.
  • Has he eaten it before? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Did you leave the ketchup off of it? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Did you preemptively put ketchup on it? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Is it in his Batman cup? He probably will drink it.
  • Is it in his Batman cup, but he just saw his Hulk cup in the cabinet? He probably won’t drink it.
  • Did he see you pick the vegetables out of it? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Did he eat it at grandma’s house? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Did he ask for it six times? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Is it a booger? He probably will eat it.
  • Did he eat it yesterday, so you bought a whole box of it thinking he’d eat it again? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Is it a Flintstone vitamin? He probably will eat it.
  • Did you use strawberry jelly instead of grape jelly? He probably won’t eat it.
  • Is there grated cheese on it? He probably will eat it.

Am I worried that my child will be a malnourished little creature with rickets and Sally Struthers asking people to send 12 cents a day to save him? Nope. Not at all. You know why? Because I, like nearly every other kid for the last 200,000 years, was exactly the same way. I didn’t eat greens veggies until I was an adult. I never ate a salad until I was 27. My first Brussels sprout wasn’t until this fall.

In fact, I’m kind of still the same way. I won’t eat any meat that is on a bone or has fat on it. I still need grated cheese in order to eat pasta or certain soups. I pick the lettuce off my sandwiches or wraps. Raw tomatoes make me want to hurl.

Did I ever suffer from nutritional deficiencies? No.  Has the human race ceased to exist because kids didn’t eat their broccoli? No.

I’ll keep trying to get him to eat his veggies and fruits because I’m his mom and it’s my job to torture him with bitter greens and mushy bananas, but I know it’s not the end of the world if he refuses the Nutella and spinach smoothie. And until he eats his first Brussels sprout 24 years from now, I’ll just keep handing him the Flintstones vitamins. Hey, it worked for me and at least 10 million other kids.

 

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