Food, glorious food

Picky eaters. Who wants one? Not me, that’s for sure, but I have one all the same. At least it’s only one. Sir A will eat practically anything I put in front of him. Lord B, not so much.

He used to. Till he was about 1 he ate everything, and in vast quantities. For his 1st birthday we took him out for lunch and he guzzled an adult sized portion of cashew chicken. Nanny had a few chunks of dry bread. Not really, but he actually was eating more than her (she’s not a hug eater, but still, an adult!) at that stage. And was still a slim young thing. We assume he takes after me.

Mmm, spirulina and baby rice – have you ever tasted anything more delicious??

Anyway, after that things started going downhill. From golloping down spirulina mixed in with baby rice (yes, baby rice is a terrible food for babies, but I didn’t know that at the time) and delighting in liver with his father, it was down to savoury onion tuna and cottage pie at dinner time. Those were the only things I knew he’d eat. At least I could smuggle in plenty of veges with the cottage pie. Then he stopped eating that, too.

At that stage I did start worrying a little, only I had a baby that spewed all the time and wasn’t putting on weight to worry about more, so we just chugged along. At least Lord B was still moving slowly up the growth line he’d created for himself. He’d eat cheese and porridge and eggs and any meat on a bone and a few other things. Nanas and grapes and pretty much any other fruit. Veges, not so much.

mmm lamb shank

He did get more colds then. In fact he hadn’t had one till he was 15 months, or was that a tummy bug and he didn’t get a cold till 19 months? Meh, anyway, I knew he wasn’t getting all he needed in the way of vitamins but at least he was still breastfeeding and it was baby milk for his brother, so packed with baby-needing goodness.

I slowly managed to add things to his diet. Carrot sticks, the odd bit of capsicum. But way too much carbs and not enough of other things.

In the last few months we’ve started eating sausage once a week – I found a supplier of gluten free, dairy free, preservative free, MSG free sausages so I don’t have to stress about all that crap. He’ll eat chicken happily. And tuna. He now actually eats the fish of fish and chips. He LOVES curry – always has – but none I’ve made so far. Bah. Loves rice and potatoes. I cook brown rice in chicken stock so it’s more nutritious and proteinous.

We changed slightly our sourdough recipe and he loves the new bread. Yay that there’s something quick and easy to turn to when needed!

A few months back in hippy group we learnt how to combine things to make delicious vege juice and he now has at least an adult portion of fruit and veg every day (Sir A too – when he doesn’t tip it on the floor. Bloody annoying habit. Sometimes he mixes it in with his food and ingests it like that. Strange child) which is GREAT. Being all hippy-like I know the importance of large amounts of vegetables and it did worry me that he wasn’t really getting them. Specially green ones. (Must give some instructions on juice making at some point.)

But what’s really exciting is that he might just possibly start eating mince! This is great, because kids are supposed to love mince and he’s not a real child if he doesn’t eat it!! No, actually, cos it’s easy and cheap and has lots of iron and blah blah. The other day I made very bland (ie just meat) patties for him and melted some cheese between them, and he ate half of it! And yesterday he deigned to try the tomatoey mince, though said he didn’t like it. But patties are a start!!

Now for my secret. It won’t work for all children cos I think personality and parenting styles affect it a bit, but you never know. And also it probably won’t even work for him again but at least it did twice. In a row.

Instead of threats or promises of treats or other forms of bribery and/or punishment, I told him that I would really appreciate it if he tried it. Since we’ve built a relationship of trust, he wants to please us and will try things he doesn’t necessarily like if he knows we’ll appreciate the effort. I have great hopes that it’ll get him trying more things and eventually eating what the rest of us do each night, instead one part of the meal or next to nothing at all.

As for why he’s fussy and Sir A is not… well I’d say it’s partly personality. Sir A seems much more laid back, though he is starting to form annoyingly definite ideas about how things should be at times. But I think the way we introduced food to them plays a part too. Sir A got teeth earlier. This made baby led weaning much easier. We kinda tried it with Lord B but he just couldn’t munch enough so we ended up mostly spoon feeding him. I also didn’t have time to sit spoon feeding Sir A with Lord B to run around after as well, so I just put food in front of him most of the time and he either ate it or didn’t.

(For those who don’t know what baby led weaning is, it’s pretty much giving kids the same food we eat from when they start eating it. The idea is that if you wait till they’re really ready they can handle proper food – they have the dexterity and hand-eye coordination, and their tummies are better prepared to deal with solid stuff. If they’re lucky they also have teeth, though these aren’t necessary. It’s just hard to find things soft enough to gum but hard enough not to totally smoosh before it gets to the mouth. That was Lord B’s problem, though Sir A would happily stuff himself with lentil stew and anything else he could sort of spoon with his fingers. I was more immune to mess by then…)

Sir A has definitely got better eating skills than Lord B at this age – in fact his ability to use a spoon is just about as good as Lord B’s, having had practice for much longer. He can even use a fork, ish, which Lord B has only recently mastered. The only thing lacking is a desire not to make a huge and utter mess and waste food at any opportunity, so he still requires careful supervision to make sure he’s not throwing things on the floor or tipping his vege juice upside down just so he can ask for more.

Ie I’m mostly sold on baby-led weaning and will no doubt use it with future spuddies. But what I’m really wanting to say is that I’m super excited Lord B ate mince, and I’m eagerly anticipating him trying some chilli beans tonight!

2 Responses to “Food, glorious food”
  1. AfricanKiwi says:

    haha we have an almost identical issue here (although neither of my boys have ever had a problem putting on weight, as you well know lol) In the last few weeks he has tried a load of new things though, still not huge on veges other than the ones from frozen bag & wont entertain juices unless they are as “watery” as water. And then Conway just scoffs anything & everything! Interestingly, we also pureed & spoon fed Roman until he was 15 months (when Conway arrived) but Conway has been left pretty much to work it out himself!

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