You are probably asking yourself why on earth the fact that my son ate a pancake merits an entire blog post. Kids are by nature picky eaters, of course. Did you know there is a biological reason behind that fact?
Curious toddlers tend to enter the "age of beige" eating stage around the same time they become completely independent in their mobility. Sticking to a diet based on beige foods helped them avoid potential poisonous plants (particularly brightly colored berries and poisonous leaves) that could kill them.
My son entered this stage and never exited. He disappeared down a culinary black hole that narrowed and narrowed and narrowed until his dietary staples could be counted on two hands. Some parents debate whether apple slices dipped into sweet caramel sauce is a healthy food choice. I dream of J.T. eating apple slices dipped in caramel sauce. The current extent of his food choices includes: cheese, crackers, whole grain bread, yogurt, V-8 fusion, ketchup, mustard, pizza, fish sticks, chicken, cookies, and plain chocolate. That is it. All of it.
Yes, I have tried insisting that he eat what is put on his plate. I have made him try blueberries, apples, bananas, salad, broccoli, carrots, green beans, and tomatoes. "Just ONE bite!" I have pleaded. These efforts end with him throwing up and me throwing up my hands in frustration. It isn't that he finds the flavors that objectionable, it is the textures he can't stomach. Even toast has to be at just the right level of "toastiness" or it is, er, toast.
Yesterday, as I made the grocery list, I spoke very frankly with J.T. about the importance of a healthy diet. We do have a history of heart attacks in our family. My brother died at 41. My father had a heart attack at 68. My grandfather (a very slim, fit man) had one at the same age. Eating less junk and replacing that junk with vegetables and fruits is really, really important. He agreed to try something different. Apples (with caramel sauce) was one choice, the other was pancakes. At this point, trying ANYTHING new is a plus, so I agreed.
Tonight, we had pancakes for supper. And the kid who only eats grilled cheese or fish sticks or some other variation, ate a whole pancake. I'm sure it is a ho-hum event in most households, and I would truly prefer that it had been an apple slice and not another "beige" food like a pancake, but the fact that he tried something new and liked it, is a big deal around here. It has not happened in a long, long time. It gives me hope.
P.S. We are consulting with his doctor to figure out if speaking with a counselor might help him. There is not enough space here to detail the YEARS of efforts and conversations we have had on this subject, but suffice it to say it is the number one cause of stress in my life right now.
6 months ago