Brennan has ALWAYS been a picky eater. Even as an infant, I had a hard time getting most foods into him. He has always liked yogurt and most fruits, but hates pretty much any vegetable and a lot of meats and other things. From the very first time I tried to give him pureed green beans, he has hated them. Spit them out and gagged. We tried and tried until just a few weeks ago I put them on his plate for the first time in awhile. Brian made him eat one and he gagged and threw up on his plate. I couldn't get too mad at him because I did the same thing with broccoli when I was his age. So maybe he'll decided he likes green beans when he hits his twenties. Until then, no more green beans for Brennan.
7 months old - not interested in some kind of vegetable
But I'd like to be able to get some kind of vegetable into him. And some protein. He goes through phases when he'll eat certain meats and cheeses and then will refuse them the next week. I know this is normal behavior, but it's so annoying. Oh but he loves junk food. Pizza and mac'n'cheese from Panera Bread are his 2 favorite things to eat, other than cookies, "num nums" (M&Ms), fruit snacks, and pretty much any form of sugar. Fried foods too. He requests "chicky and fries" for dinner ALL.THE.TIME. You'd think we make fast food runs a lot. I assure you, we don't. Mama doesn't need chicky and fries on her thighs thankyouverymuch.
14 months old - loving some fries and a cheese quesadilla
I'm grateful that I can at least get fruits into him. And he'll drink milk all day long. Last summer he went through a phase where he would snap his jaws shut and we could barely get him to eat anything. We even had to beg him to eat his favorite foods. He was falling off of the growth chart and his pediatrician was a bit concerned, so we ramped up the mealtime shenanigans. Every meal was painstakingly slow with us begging and pleading and force-feeding and bribing and cheering and clapping and hugging and rewarding every.single.time he took a bite and swallowed. Eventually he grew out of it a bit and started to eat certain things without begging. But it was literally only 10 different foods that he would eat.
21 months - the watermelon and chicken nugget era
His eating habits have improved a bit over the last year, but it's still a painful process. Some days he won't eat anything. He'll drink a few cups of milk and maybe nibble on some fruit and that's it. And that can go on for days. On days we can get him to eat, it's only by spoon-feeding him. On these days, I'm thankful that he'll eat, but I'm frustrated that my 9 month olds feed themselves better than my 2.5 year old. Brian and I have gone back and forth on whether spoon-feeding is helpful or harmful, and we always land on helpful. If it's what we have to do to get him to eat, that's what we'll do.
I know most people say, "He'll eat when he's hungry" but the thing is, HE WON'T. We've tried the 'stick the plate back in the fridge' trick and the 'only offer healthy foods' tricks and they just don't work. If we stuck with them, he literally would not eat anything for days. And we don't let him drink anything until after he's eaten, which is working a little bit better these days since the kid will do anything for a cup of milk.
I know he'll be fine. He's clearly not malnourished and is thriving in every other way. But I'm frustrated and I can't help but be a bit worried. I don't think that he has gained any weight since his 2 year well visit, but I plan to throw him on the scale when we take the twins for their 9 month visit this week to confirm that. If it's really the case, I'll be making an appointment with the pediatrician.
Any thoughts? Suggestions? Magic spells??? Anything you want to throw my way?