Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Son Ate a Pancake

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.


Aunty Evil said...

Hopefully it will encourage him to try more new things, even revisit things he has already tried now he is older.

Good luck!

My father was impossible to feed, he wouldn't eat lamb, chicken, fish or pork. And then when we found some nice sausages or beef pies or something similar that he would actually like, we ended up feeding it to him so much he would then tell us he didn't want it anymore, so we were back to square one.

Hopefully your boy will become more adventurous, otherwise you will be saying to his wife on his wedding day "thank god you married him, he is now your problem to feed"...the way that my grandmother did to my mother! :)

M said...

As the mother of a picky eater I feel your pain. I am figuring that my boy will become a teenager and then he will be SO HUNGRY that he will eat ANYTHING. So, as a result I have stopped worrying about his limited diet.

The first example of this is he now eats hot cross buns WITH FRUIT BITS. Can't be bothered picking them out anymore. Too hungry to care.

Cell Block said...

At least he's not a cannibal....that would be awkward.

Stomper Girl said...

Go JT! As a mother of a fussy eater, you have my sympathy! One did grow out of it, helped I think by his love of sugar, but the other hasn't shown any sign yet and he's 8 and a half! It is great when they reach an age where you can get them to try stuff by appealing to their powers of reason, but wouldn't it be nice if they tried new food because they were interested? Dream on. My good friend has a child like JT, and they did see a counsellor (if you asked the child why she wouldn't even try new food she'd burst into tears!) but counselling didn't really achieve anything so they are back to hoping she'll grow out of it!

Mary said...

Margot is the same - she will eat bacon though. A bit of chicken under sufferance. But pretty much your list is my list.

I have given up trying for the moment but am planning on sitting her down one day soon and talking to her about the physical reasons why as a growing girl who will hit puberty in another few years (which btw noooooooo!) she needs to broaden her eating habits.

So frustrating though - I feel your pain.

Fairlie said...

I feel like I need to tip-toe away quietly, as I've been blessed with quite adventurous eaters.

Although that statement about toddlers and the beige phase protecting them from their own curiosity is very the IP in particular had no such protective mechanism as a two year old and I had the poisons info line on speed dial.

Yay for a pancake!

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