Thursday, December 06, 2007


Iyyar, these days, still eats just about anything. The only things he doesn't really like are raw fruit and vegetables, and I think that's a texture thing--he'll put them in his mouth, suck on them for a minute, and then spit them out.

Barak, on the other hand, is still a pretty seriously picky eater. I don't worry about it from a health perspective, because he eats a wide enough range of nutritious food that I know he's getting what he eats, but it would be nice if he'd branch out a little--and it is a little difficult that he will hardly eat anything at your average Shabbos table. If there's some noodle kugel or apple kugel or pumpkin kugel, he's good, but otherwise, it's challah, grape juice, and off to play. But he'll eat just about any fruit I give him (he doesn't like peaches or kiwi, but other than that he'll eat it all). He happily eats whole wheat or brown rice pasta, plain brown rice, all of our sugar-free whole-grain cereals, granola with unsweetened yogurt, whole-wheat and natural peanut-butter sandwiches without jam--etc. Of course, he'd rather eat strawberry yogurt and waffles, but he knows that those are treats.

Vegetable-wise, he'll eat plain sliced cucumbers without the peel, carrots when grated and inserted into carrot pancakes or carrot muffins, and spinach when mixed into doodles cheese. I can't ever give him doodles cheese without spinach, because if I do it once it takes ten mealtimes of misery and struggle for the spinach to be acceptable again. But it's been such a long time since he's had the spinach-free variety--since early September, I think--that we've now gotten to a point where there's almost as much spinach in there as there is noodle, and he'll eat it perfectly happily.

In general, Barak and new foods don't really get along. A teaspoon of tomato sauce gives a whole pot of noodles the cooties. Latkes? Forget it. The only way to eat a potato is French fried. Meat? Straight-up bologna or hot dogs, or never mind. Pizza? Cf. "tomato sauce" and "cooties," above. Anything with any ingredient he doesn't immediately recognize is immediately dismissed from consideration.

So I was a little bit surprised when, while cooking dinner and munching on carrot sticks earlier this week, I got a request. "Imma, c'I have a carrot stick please?" Um, okay. I handed him a carrot stick. He ate it. "C'I have another one?" I handed him another one. He ate three.

Tonight, I was making dinner, which consisted of brown rice spaghetti with, you guessed it, spinach and cheese; peas; and a pot of zucchini and red peppers with garlic. Barak watched me slicing the peppers. I thought I'd try. "Barak, do you want a red pepper stick?" "Umm, yes please." I handed him a pepper stick. He ate it. "C'I have another one please?" I handed him another one. He ate another three. "I like pepper sticks. Pepper sticks are the best!"

Hmm. What else can I slip him while this phase lasts?


shanna said...

Hmmmm...different raw vegetable sticks and chunks would be my first thought: celery, different colored peppers, cauliflower. Lightly steamed green beans and asparagus. Or either of those roasted. And maybe try to use different spices on chicken, while he is feeling adventurous?

This may be a good time to put a "try ten times" rule in place, if you don't have one already. Not having ever actually done this myself, I don't know for sure how it would work, but I think it may involve a sticker chart and sampling a food at ten separate meals before getting a six-month or one-year pass on having to eat it again if it's still not liked. Or something.

Rua said...

My mother says she used to slip me different foods outside of regular meal times in the guise of a "treat." For instance, if i was playing on the floor she would casually place a something beside me that she knew I would probably like, but would be inclined to protest and treat with suspicion if asked to eat it as part of a meal. And then she would back away. She says it worked and saved her from insanity about whether I would actually starve/waste away/become completely malnourished. Also, what about that theory about sneaking veg. purees into foods of a similar color?

miriamp said...

I think he eats a ton of food!

Want to borrow my 9 yr old for a while? Change your whole perspective on picky eaters. She eats corn, (her one vegetable besides tomato sauce), pizza, toasted cheese sandwiches, vanilla yogurt, white pasta with plain tomato sauce (NOT marinara!), maybe whole wheat spaghetti, but not any other shape in non-white pasta, instant chicken flavor soup (sigh), instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal, american cheese, crackers of various shapes and sizes, granny smith or empire apples, applesauce, and bananas but only if still slightly green. Oh, and grapes. If we're really lucky she'll eat plain chicken if she first cuts off all the edges (on cutlets, no less) and hamburgers but only made of ground turkey, not beef. She doesn't even eat french fries, she only likes one variety of chicken nugget, and will no longer touch a fish stick.

I do have kids who will eat vegetables and other real food, but she isn't one of them!

LeahChaya said...

>Lightly steamed green beans and >asparagus. Or either of those >roasted.

I have one child who loves munching on raw green beans. She is, of course, the skinniest one - the one for whom the nutritionist told me to offer dipping sauces to up the caloric value. hahahahaha. Pardon me while I laugh myself hysterical. The only salad dressing or "dipping sauce" she believes in - on random occasion - is my MIL's fat free French. Fat lot of calories *that* adds.

But back to your question - anything else that looks like finger food/snack food?