Picky, picky

A few years ago, when Mallory was still very small and I still thought I knew what I was doing as a parent, I came across a parenting advice column in which the advice seeker was concerned that her toddler wouldn’t eat meat. I don’t remember the details of the answer, except that the parent was advised to try bacon as an alternate meat source.

Bacon! I was full of derision for this ridiculous advice. Bacon is one of the worst-for-you foods on earth! What a dumb thing to say! Bacon for a toddler!

Would you now care to guess the only kind of meat my 2-year-old will eat? Yeah. Bacon.

I feel that I have failed, in some real way, in the area of proper feeding and nutrition for both my kids. That Deceptively Delicious book? Where you sneakily add pureed vegetables to your kids’ food? A total failure in my house because my kids won’t anything that you could conceivably add a puree to. Macaroni and cheese – no. Tacos – no. Soup – no. Chili – no. My kids will not eat pizza. Pizza! Everyone on earth likes pizza, except the two children who sit at my dinner table every night.

On the other hand, I have a friend who has two girls the same age as mine, and they eat EVERYTHING. Their favorite food is sushi. When they come over and play with our pretend kitchen, they pretend to make salmon and artichoke hearts. They not only eat pizza, they eat pizza with black olives and onions and peppers. Onions! Olives! Clearly these children were raised correctly, and mine were not.

In addition, my children will not drink milk, and will not even eat cereal with milk. This requires me to put more thought into breakfast than I would like to. In fact I am constantly having to put more thought into meal planning than I would like to because there’s such a small range of foods that my kids will eat.

Here’s what Mallory will eat: Chicken nuggets, but only if they’re not too “spicy”. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ham sandwiches with pickles, sometimes with a slice of provolone. Provolone is the only cheese she will eat, by the way. Hot dogs and corn dogs. Plain chicken, sometimes, but it has to be with ketchup. Spaghetti – that’s the only thing with any kind of sauce that she’ll eat. Plain hamburgers. Baby carrots. A smattering of fruits. And, of course, anything sweet.

Phoebe’s even worse. No meat, like I said, except bacon. Tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe. Cheerios. Waffles. Toast. Plain noodles and plain rice. Occasionally she’ll eat some yogurt. Uh, the end.

Phoebe tricks us, too. One night we went out for Chinese food and she ate her weight in steamed broccoli. She couldn’t get enough broccoli, and the whole time she was eating it, she was saying how much she loved it. I was thrilled. Broccoli! She loves broccoli! Awesome! Two nights later I made broccoli for dinner and she wouldn’t even touch it. She’s done the same thing with scrambled eggs and green beans. She’s clearly trying to drive us all crazy.

It’s really getting on my nerves.


J&H Noble said...

Hopefully its just a phase they are going through and in a couple of years, you'll look back on this and laugh. Hopefully...
That is funny about Phoebe and the broccoli!

aimee said...

Yeah, your kids are picky eaters. :) Hee. Hee. My kids don't like mac and cheese either or other good kid food. Rhett hardly likes pasta. What happened to kids? Mine do like frittatas, enchiladas and bacon fried rice (hey, maybe you should try that!)Just keep trying. And you haven't failed. Why do you think there are such books like Deceptively Delicious? :)