May 15, 2013

more on feeding the one year old

I'm flummoxed. Baffled. Bewildered. Even flabbergasted.

I thought the boy was into a variety of foods. Maybe it's the cafeteria food he's eating at daycare for lunch (which I'm convincing myself breeds picky eaters). Maybe it's because toddlers don't grow nearly as fast and just aren't very hungry and therefore have the luxury of being picky. Maybe he's just too tired to care about food by the time dinner rolls around. But this kid can barely entertain the notion of eating something that isn't dairy or crunchy. (Yes, I just used a noun like a verb for the sake of rhyming.)

I have this fantasy in my head that we're going to raise an adventurous eater; a kid who loves going out to restaurants and actually eats something besides mac & cheese and isn't instead predisposed to flick food onto the floor while my husband goes apoplectic with embarrassment and frustration.

Maybe that's the problem: the fantasy in my head doesn't match my toddler's eating whims.

Every day, I'm charged with deciding what's for dinner. In that decision I take into account whether the boy will eat it. Usually the answer is no. At this point, I either change my mind or have a backup plan. Usually the backup plan is enacted.

Last night was no exception. I placed him in his booster, presented him with some seaweed, watched him flick it to the floor, broke out the crunchies as the backup, watched him eat a handful of these, gave him seaweed a second time and watched him eat them with no problem, grabbed a few chunks of chicken (flick), carrots (yum), more seaweed (yum), cheese (double-yum), followed by some chunks of orange (sort-of yum, one flick). Determining that the last flick meant he was full, I gave him his milk. He had a few sips, then tossed it to the floor. I called dinner done at that point, and he held out his hands at that point for me to pick him up. I try to remember to smile so he doesn't think he's disappointing me.

Every day is a secret combination-decoding process that I am determined to solve. However, I'm learning how to live with the fact that, often, I don't solve the puzzle and just move on to the next day.

Maybe he'd like a finely-diced lasagna? I could certainly go for that. Maybe I should just feed him dairy, crunchies, and baby food until he's 5 years old - at least that way he'd get some veggies in that cute little belly!

Any suggestions?