I know I’m not the first Mom to deal with picky eaters. What I don’t know is how Aden and Alex continue to grow like weeds despite the food they eat? At every well check-up I express my concerns that neither Aden nor Alex eats healthy. Yet after their weight/height checks come in above average I’m given the okay to proceed. I don’t want to proceed, what I want is an intervention!
People tell me to pick my battles and right now this is the battle I want to pick. I am responsible for what goes into their bodies and right now it’s mostly junk! Aden doesn’t eat any fruits or vegetables, unless you consider apple juice a fruit and a veggie straw a vegetable. He also refuses to take a multivitamin. Since he likes chocolate, the pediatrician recommended I sneak Poly Vi-Sol, a liquid multivitamin into a tablespoon of Hershey chocolate syrup. I tried it. Aden immediately noticed something was off and spit it everywhere. It was like a scene from a horror movie and caused quite a mess.
Back in the day, our OT, Mindi, and then Lisa helped me introduce new foods. Aden and Alex tried and liked hummus, guacamole, and tomato and pea soup. To brighten my outlook, Mindi provided me with a great handout entitled “Redefine Try It” By: Marsha Dunn Klein. It provided a list of new ways to look at a child trying a new food, such as “allow the food on the plate, smell the food, touch the food, hand the food to another person, bring the food to lips, lick the food, put food in mouth (and spit it out), or chew, then spit it out, finally the hope is: put food in mouth and swallow it” Unfortunately this is the part we’re having trouble with and frankly I’m tired of wasting my time and money preparing all these new foods.
Jon recently read in a parenting magazine that a child may have to try something 12 times before accepting it into their diet. Good grief! That’s a lot of disappointment to endure without a guaranteed pay-off.
Right now Aden is living off pancakes, chicken nuggets, and French fries, oh and milk, sometimes chocolate milk. I feel horrible just writing this. Alex on the other hand will eat some fruits including apples and bananas. He will also eat yogurt but that’s about it. I’m pretty sure if I allowed it, Alex would live off pooh-bear honey (a teaspoon of real honey), his daily Flintstone vitamin, and a lollypop.
My biggest concern with him is the amount of juice he requests. I dilute it with water but he still drinks a ton! At times I refuse him or just give him water. He is relentless. He will fuss, whine, and throw a tantrum, pretty much anything that increases my stress levels. I try to ignore him. Yeah right. I am the parent, I am in charge, or maybe not. I feel defeated. I feel like I’m giving in way too much to avoid a meltdown, mainly because I can’t handle anymore meltdowns.
Aden and Alex are also both motivated by sweets. For Aden it’s anything chocolate, such as M&M’s or cookies, whereas Alex prefers M&M’s or a lollypop. I require them to “work for” their sweets. Both have to have a good day in school before they’re given their afternoon treats. One day I withheld Alex’s lollypop. He had hit the teacher that morning and I was trying to teach him a lesson. But I was the one who paid the price. Plus I felt guilty because I wasn’t sure he even understood.
Finally, there’s the convenience factor. It’s called fast-food for a reason. I don’t have the time or energy to go grocery shopping every day, plan means, prepare meals, cook meals, clean-up. They won’t eat what I cook so it feels like I’m doing it for nothing.
Right now I’m torn between doing the right thing, which is providing healthier options and not giving in to Alex’s requests, or maintaining my sanity and keeping my stress levels down. I need to find balance. I don’t know what to do. I think I’ll go eat some chocolate and think about it.