Posted by: mommytoo | April 11, 2010

food, glorious food

you may know that i am obsessed very concerned with nate’s eating.  if you know me in real life, you know that i can be both obsessive and compulsive.  i try to be neither when it comes to nate, but i am still myself.  this post is going to be long, so settle in if you’re interested — i’m feeling a desire to share my stories and maybe some methods about (picky) toddler eating.  here’s how it’s played out so far when it comes to nate’s eating…

d breastfed exclusively for 6 months, which was very important to me.  she knew she wanted to breast feed, but i would venture to say that it was at least partly with my encouragement that she became really passionate about it.  i have been looking forward to breastfeeding for the majority of my life, and watching her nurse nate made me exhilarated and envious.  i was better than i had expected i’d be at letting d eat and drink what she wanted, without harrassment.

when nate hit 6 months, i couldn’t wait to feed him.  he had all the usual fruit and veg purees, and we gradually moved on from there.  somewhere along the line, he became very resistant to vegetables and even fruits, which i think is just weird.  what kid doesn’t like fruit?  it’s so sweet.  he goes through food jags like all toddlers, and we try to roll with it.  eventually i resorted to sneaking veggies into food, and i even have that cookbook that teaches you how (granted, my mother-in-law got it at a yard sale, but i read it cover to cover).  i went to a one-night toddler nutrition class that gave me ideas and also calmed me down.  among other things, i learned to think of nate’s nutrition over the course of a week, not a day.  that has given me great comfort.

i am not proud to say that i occassionally do what might be considered a force-fed bite.  just to be clear, i squeeze in little bites of things i am pretty sure he’ll like (not spinach or green beans) or that he always likes, and is stubbornly refusing.  just one little bite, after which he says “more.”

there are some things natie always eats, including pasta, otherwise known as “noo.”  it’s a cinch to sneak good stuff into marinara sauce.  he also loves tofu and soy products (which we eat a lot), as well as black beans, eggplant, and a few others.  fruit is easy, i make popsicles (“pops”) with fruit or pure fruit juice.  i have also been suckered into buying juice that has vegetables you can’t taste.

in the last couple of weeks, nate is giving me a break.  he has happily been eating nuts and baby carrots, and has agreeably stopped refusing his pasta when i stir in a different taste.  chick peas have joined the menu!  every new food he eats, i realize that just because he’s a picky eater right now, doesn’t mean he won’t have a great palate as an adult.  and great palate or not, it’s not the end of the world, either.  i just want him to grow and grow, and sometimes i feel so preoccupied by it.  i really believe it’s related to the fact that i wasn’t involved in his feeding for the first 6 months (aside from pumped breast milk in bottles).

i’m learning a lot through this food stuff.  one thing is that patience is a fantastic quality in a mama.  over the last few months he’s expanded what he’s willing to eat, and i am trying to trust that if he’s done that so far, he will keep doing it, and he will grow big and strong.



  1. Nate is a healthy child and will not allow himself to starve! It would be better for both of you if you could relax about this. You don’t want him to have eating problems as he grows.

  2. Sorry I didn’t comment until now, had a back up on the old reader…

    I think food is one of the first places where a kid can express an opinion and try to gain some power. All we can do is offer up the best choices we can, and know that our kids will most certainly not starve. And of course, we want them to love a variety of foods, but just as we may hope that they love ballet or basketball, in the end all we really want is for our kids to grow up happy.

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