Food. It seems so simple, really. Give baby food. Baby eats. Everybody is happy.
Except any parent of a toddler knows (and is probably laughing at me having already gone through all of this) is that it doesn't really work out that way, does it? Not now. Not for a long time it seems.
Lucas used to be a great eater. LOVED FOOD. I mean, loved it, as evident by the chunkiness this kid has always been. But somewhere along the line -- maybe three months ago or so? -- he started getting picky. First it was simple things, where saying ok, no big deal, let's add in something else was the solution. But we are successfully at the point where throwing his entire plate of food onto the floor without touching a bite is a regular thing.
Our go tos? Mac & cheese (or just cheese in general). Chicken nuggets. Peanut butter & jelly sandwhiches. The main staples in any kids life -- he won't touch it. And vegetables?? Hahahahaha! No freaking way. I mean, it's probably been a month since he has willingly touched a vegetable and even then it was one lonely green bean. One. Lonely. Green bean.
But what can you do? I would be lying if I said there weren't many meals where I ended up in tears out of sheer frustration. I know my kid is on the heavier side (28 lbs at his 18 month checkup), and there are lots of parents out there who DO worry about their kids weight (we are not one of them), but you also want to make sure your kid is eating, and eating well. What kind of example are we setting if all we feed him is things that aren't the most nutritionally satisfying? While at the same time, how many times can I put things in front of my kid that he SHOULD be eating, only to have him dump it all on the floor without touching it. It's a really hard balance of wanting to make sure he is getting fed while also being fed well.
We did bring it up at our last appointment with our pediatrician and yes, she reassured us that this was all normal (which, we knew after having talked to many people) and that it all balances out. We came to the conclusion that my kid is not a "meal" kid, i.e. he won't sit for three meals a day. Instead, we've decided he's a grazer, and once I accepted this, things have been much better. There is still some frustration even with this concept, and the amount of food that he takes in completely varies from day to day. He can have a nothing but a banana and some goldfish one day, and the next I can't seem to give him enough food. So we just keep offering, throughout the day, and when he gives us the sign for food, we feed him. Some days are better than others, and I wish he wasn't such a picky eater, but when it comes down to it, as long as he is putting food in his mouth of any kind, that's what I have to go with.
It's frustrating, and we want to set good examples as parents to get him off to the right start, but he rarely will eat what we eat (no matter HOW HARD I hide the "good" stuff), so I have to give him what he will. Some days that's loads of fruit. Other days it's nothing but cheerios and goldfish. But it's food. That's what counts, right?