The maternal child and health nurses all say to look at what the child eats over a week rather than day by day, to not turn food into a drama, to ignore the unwanted behaviour, etc, etc. That all becomes very difficult advice to follow when your child refuses food over and over. When they eat perhaps a quarter of the recommended amount without getting anywhere close to satisfying the recommended food groups. But I'm turning a new leaf. I'm trying to be more calm and I'm trying to eat when he eats so it becomes a social thing.
Here's how it went yesterday:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup of porridge cooked down with milk and a bit of water, chopped apricot, a few sultanas and served with four slices of tinned peach (drained and rinsed of juice).
Ate: All but the last mouthful. That one went in, but was very quickly spat/grabbed. A bridge too far, apparently. We were out of fresh fruit this morning, but he loves tinned fruit and I don't mind it if I can rinse the refined juice off.
This was a good breakfast. He played with his trains while I spooned it in.
After breakfast: sippy cup with 200mls milk
Drank: around 100mls. The other 100mls were abandoned, hidden behind a giant duck until later in the afternoon. Finding old bottles is an ongoing joy of parenthood.
Morning Tea: 2 rice crackers while out and about
Ate: Hammered them. Loves a good cracker. But didn't want a third.
We managed to lose his water sippy cups, so we bought two new ones while we were out. He sipped about 200mls over the day.
Lunch: Half a croissant-turned-pizza made with a tomato and pureed veggie sauce with tasty cheese melted over the top. Served with a side of extra grated cheese.
Ate: A nibble at one or two of the croissant pieces but none of the cheese. This is not a surprise: he's never eaten cheese that still looks like cheese. He won't touch a cheese stick or cube, which makes me want to cry given how much I love cheese. He will eat it if it's melted and hidden in something else.
"Dessert": 8 blueberries, 2 strawberries and a cheek of pear (skinned and cubed)
Ate: Everything but the pear. The blueberries are not a surprise either: Dear Boy would munch on these all day if we let him but they are both expensive and a fairly awesome laxative (blue poo is not as fun as it sounds). Normally, he eats the pear.
Afternoon Tea: 1/2 a muesli bar that he stole out of my hand. I had made him a bowl of stewed apple with cinnamon but he got tired of waiting for it to cool down.
Ate: Bit hard to tell. There was quite a bit stuck to his hands, face, clothes and the floor.
Ate: After making sure I blew on them all, he picked up all 8 chips and held them in his fists while he worked his way through them. He will normally eat at least some of the peas and corn, but I think he was completely overwhelmed by chippie love today. No love for the steak either.
Dinner was reasonably pleasant, him in his high chair in the kitchen while I made a lasagne, packed the dishwasher and washed the pots and pans. We listened to a bit of Paul Simon's Graceland but Dear Boy complained until I put on Lady Gaga.
"Dessert": Half a piece of toast with mashed banana (about an inch worth).
Ate: All of it. Turned his head away when I offered him a piece from the other half.
After dinner: 260mls of milk, warmed.
Drank: All of it. It's incredibly rare that he'll refuse or not finish his bed time bottle.
All up: he's had roughly the recommended amount of dairy (3 serves) and fruit (1 serve), almost no vegetables unless you count the potato and a lick of pureed veggie sauce (should be having two serves), no meat or other proteins (should be having two serves), and less than half the recommended amount of bread, pasta and other carbs (should be having four serves).
Some days are better than this and some days are worse. Today he ate leftover lasagne and loved it and scooped up all his veggies. It's a constant balancing act between offering what I know he'll eat and offering the things are 'good' and necessary for him. I don't want to be the mama with the child who'll only eat chicken nuggets. But I also don't want to be the incredibly tense mama who ends up force-feeding her kid while screaming 'just eat the damn cheese'.There's also a lot of guilt about the incredible amount of waste we're producing even when I've cut his plated portions right back (although I have more on stand-by should he finish it - very happy to offer more - my boy is not on a diet).
Any advice, internet mamas? Have you had a picky or inconsistent eater? Was it just a phase or is this a personality thing?