11.20.2009

Table Manners

(Warning, this contains multiple references to my breastmilk...gasp!)

Tonight Maya was HUNGRY.
I'm talking 2 entire jars of stage 3 baby food and one sizable bowl of baby oatmeal hungry. And I am sure she'll be asking to nurse here in a few minutes, to wash it all down. Maya is a champion eater. Only, she doesn't always exactly correctly utilize a spoon. She often tries to suck the baby food off of the spoon, rather than open and take a proper bite. Maya has always refused a bottle, and much prefers to nurse. She has already submitted a formal request that my breasts start dispensing oatmeal, and bananas, and harvest squash. But that is entirely unnatural, and kind of a gross thought, so I have had to deny her request. (I mean really, Maya, is it not enough that my milk just knows to adjust to accommodate your growing body at every new stage that you happen to be reaching? Day one: Colostrum. Boom. 3 months and need to put on a few pounds: Milkshake. Boom. 5 months and starting solids: Amped up vitamins. Boom. Pretty remarkable, actually.) So to compensate for the fact that she has to resign herself to using this clunky plastic Ikea utensil that is, frankly, quite beneath her (or so she says), she has a system. She takes a big goopy bite by way of sucking it off the spoon, then shoves her thumb into her mouth along with the food, and proceeds to suck suck suck. Only sometimes it's her fingers, and then back to her thumb, while her sweet-potato fingers smear orange goo all over her fine brow. Tonight I literally had to scrub sweet potato out of her eyebrows! She seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that food is in her hair, up her nose, and all down her front. She is happy to eat anything, at any time. Well, except for peas. She'll still eat them, but the entire time she stares me straight in the eye as if to say, "Mom, how could you subject me to such an inferior vegetable. I am only eating them out of courtesy because YOU are feeding them to me, and I don't want to be a disappointment."

Now on to Finn. Oh, Finn. A few weeks ago Finn picked off a teensy weensy piece of broccoli from a piece of delicious pesto pizza and proclaimed, "I do not like it!" Finn has always been a picky eater. Always. No matter how much variety, no matter how many times I expose him to specific foods, he just will not eat certain things. I have learned to not be bothered by it. It's not MY fault he hates broccoli and despises mushrooms. Or prefers canned peas to frozen. He's even skeptical of kiwi and avocado. There is a lot of hiding things that are green in other foods in order to sneak them past Finn. And then there's the matter of eating in and of itself. He won't eat a single bite of anything if I push him in the least. He's expected to come to the table, say a prayer with us, and at least sit there while WE eat. Then I just leave the plate out. Usually he'll wander back over and finish eating later, pick at it throughout the evening, sometimes sampling something new. But the silver lining? Tonight Finn ATE that teensy weensy piece of broccoli attached to the piece of pesto pizza, and when asked if he noticed it, he said, "Finn like it, Mama!" (Even though I fully understand that might have been an anomaly in Finn's Food World.) But it was still a piece of broccoli.

As far as I'm concerned, I eat almost everything. Except onions. And liver. So what do I have to say to liver and onions? "I do not like it!"

How do you get your kids to eat?

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P.S. On a totally unrelated note, I have been getting a few questions in my comment section about my photos and how I post them. I am going to do a whole post about them. Your questions have not gone unheard! :)

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Jen said...

The trick to healthy and diverse eaters is to never feed them baby food. I made the mistake with my first daughter... a decision I regret to this day. With my second daughter, I let her try everything. At six months, I gave her fresh mango, corn on the cob, spaghetti sauce, salmon, beans, rice... anything and everything. If I was eating it, I let her try it. (I made it baby-friendly to eat.) To this day she will eat anything. She prefers things with true flavor. When all the kids were eating cheese pizza last night, she was eating Chicken Honey Mustard pizza. You will have a baby gourmand in no time.
PS With my advise, a girlfriend did the same with her 2nd and had the exact same results.

Ali said...

I concur with Jen. Same thing here. Luke is the super picky eater. I'm always trying to "sneak" stuff into his mouth. Gavin will eat anything, and I truly believe it is because I exposed him to table food much sooner. Although, Luke had a tough time with table food. He gagged A LOT, no matter how small I cut stuff up. So in the fear of choking my baby, I kept him on baby food and didn't expose him new tastes. Live and learn.

I have some tips on how to get the kids to eat stuff. I will post later

rushton family archives said...

Dinnertime is the worst.

My youngest will eat chalk or dirt before she'll eat broccoli.

Tiffany M. said...

Sounds like Maya takes after Aunt Tiffy in more ways than one!

melmck said...

well i just refuse to believe that maya is old enough to eat solids. she's only 3 months old! i'm sure of it! :( i miss her. and you. and finn. and wes. :(

T said...

Oh my goodness Lyndsay, my oldest son is sooooooooooo picky. He always has been. He will do the same thing as Finn with the broccoli, and he is now 14!!! I have no advice to give you, because I have tried everything and he is still picky. I think that is just who he is. I will say that I was just like him when I was little, but I grew out of it cause now I will eat just about anything, so my hope is he will do the same. Good luck!!!

Ali said...

Hey Lyndz! I decided to do a post on healthy eating tips. It was getting toooo long to post as a comment. hope it helps!

Kristin said...

Your description of Maya eating is exactly how my mom described how I ate solids as a baby! Everytime I complained about how messy my kids got, she would say, "That's nothing, you should have seen what it was like to feed you with your thumb-sucking after every mouthful."

And my advise for Finn... hang in there and keep doing what you are doing. It sounds like he is coming around. What you are going through sounds like what my 2 year old was doing about 2 months ago (when he refused anything except bread & yogurt), and gradually he has turned into a good eater. Although if you haven't tried serving kabobs or giving him kids chopsticks, I recommend both for a change of pace.

Good luck :)