There is a video on my phone of Chloe, at five months, trying baby green beans for the first time…and gagging. In the video, she gags, clearly repulsed, and spits them out. I laugh because it’s truly hysterical to think that a five month old can have such a discerning palette. After that, she turns her head away any time I attempt to feed her another bite of the green puree. I laugh, and shake my head, and I say, “Oh, Chloe.” (A phrase that is now overused in my home).
It’s about… two years later and I’m no longer laughing.
I have such a picky eater. It’s frustrating.
Here are the things that Chloe will eat all the time, any time:
Macaroni and Cheese
That’s it. If you offer any of those foods to her, she’s sure to eat them.
Here are the things that are either hit or miss with her:
I can truthfully say that she probably only gets one serving of veggies in her system every other day. On a good week.
There’s only a smidgen of “Mom-Guilt” for me, though, because another thing about my child is that she is very, very, very, very strong willed in addition to not really having a big appetite. I have tried the whole “Set the food in front of her and she’ll eat it when she’s hungry.” method several times throughout the last 1.5 years of feeding my picky eater and every time, she skipped the meal entirely. If I were to serve Chloe exclusively broccoli for three days straight, she would adamantly refuse and she’d starve herself. She refuses to eat what she doesn’t like. That said, if my daughter is on a high carb, minimal nutrient diet some days, but she’s eaten at least two meals, I don’t feel THAT bad because I know that her belly is still full. Which is always my main goal.
I have, however, worked very hard at trying different ways to incorporate veggies and other key nutrients in her diet. I have tried to mix butternut squash into her macaroni and cheese. I have mixed Gerber’s Garden Vegetable” pureed baby food into her spaghetti sauce. I fed her veggie chips. I tried Naked’s green smoothies. I have folded bell peppers and/or spinach into her cheesy, scrambled eggs. I have incorporated onions and bell peppers into my meatballs for spaghetti. Most of these have been successful…until they weren’t.
She’s caught on, so I’m always googling and refreshing ideas as to how to get my toddler to eat, well, anything. Especially veggies.
I apologize. I’ve no advice on how to have a successful dietary breakthrough with your picky eater. There are a lot of mom hacks up my sleeves, but when it comes to this subject, I’ve little to nothing to offer. Just my experience and my frustration and my ability to sympathize with you all who are enduring it with me!
Stay strong… if your kid isn’t the most nutritionally balanced, don’t beat yourself up about it. If they’re fed and happy, some days, that’s success enough.