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03/10/2011

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unmitigated me

My son has the same texture issues. He's 19 now, almost 6'4" and plenty healthy. Don't stress about the food. I've always believed it was a bad idea to turn food into an argument, or something to be used for a power play. Growing up, my mom fed us lots of crap, all processed, highly salted, canned crap. And I am fine.

Erica@Pines Lake Redhead

My youngest is my picky eater. But somehow he's developed expensive tastes at restaurants. He loves sushi and lobster bisque.

Ginny Marie

I was the one who was a freak about Lily choking when she was a baby, and the pediatrician was shocked when I was still feeding her baby food at nine months and not finger food! Oh, well, live and learn. She didn't get any teeth until she was 13 months old, and so I was a paranoid mother. When I tried to give Emmy finger foods earlier than Lily, I discovered she had an extreme gag reflex and would throw up all the time. Just the other week, she threw up because she had an itty bitty piece of green pepper in her chili, and she is three and a half. I love your message to self-righteous people!

Jan

"Don't give in to him. Make him eat what you're offering. If he's hungry enough, he'll eat it."

BULLSHIT.

While my two older children would eat anything that isn't nailed down, The Young One grew up with many of the food likes/dislikes as Jude - in fact, at 16, he still won't eat yogurt or ice cream with pieces of fruit in it or crunchy peanut butter. When he was small if I tried to MAKE him eat something he didn't want to eat (i.e. what I was eating), he'd refuse and just go hungry. I often ended up giving him food I knew wasn't the healthiest (i.e. chicken nuggets and Kraft mac n' cheese) just so he would eat *something*.

The good news is, even with his issues with texture, he is much more open to new foods - he will usually eat a bite or two, even if he doesn't care for it, and he has come to like many foods he wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole as a little boy. Also, the kid is an omnivore to his toes - 99% of the time, he eats the meat on his plate, and that includes beef liver (suitably smothered with bacon, of course). He is more educated about nutrition than all of his friends - thanks to his crazy mother who writes/talks/sounds forth about the subject endlessly - and is beginning to make better food choices on his own because of it.

Don't worry unduly about Jude - kids grow up, and if you continue to offer a wide variety of foods without making his refusal of them an issue, his palate will mature as he does.

Lisa

I agree that it's no fun to turn food into an argument, not then it is the thing that brings you together each evening and gives you such pleasure. I think they (we) all evolve our palette over our lifetimes. We struggle with the same concerns about nutrition, so every few nights Cooper gets a big glass of milk mixed with Carnation instant breakfast (chocolate, natch). I was pretty much raised on it and he will be, too! Our daughter is lactose intolerant so I just pump her up with a bunch of edamame every few days. They are both lean and very healthy. When I think about everything we know about Jude from your blog I'd say he's a happy, healthy, lucky kid!

Sarah at themommylogues

Your child eats more than mine do. I keep offering. One at a time, very, very slowly, they seem to add something in that is now deemed acceptable. I'm not worried about it, because my children sleep. You can't have everything. I'll take the sleep. Their pediatrician before we moved (who had also been my pediatrician, for what it's worth), really didn't think it was a big deal. "I remember one of my daughters only ate peanut butter sandwiches for years. She's fine now." That was some major reassurance for me.

And I'm totally on the paranoia train with Jimmy. My sister still laughs at me for breaking my daughter's first cheerios in half. I knew it was silly. But I couldn't help it.

Sarah at themommylogues

Oh, and I'm with Jude on the texture issues. I can't eat any kind of non-green bean. Too pasty. And my sister gags over mashmallow-like textures.

VandyJ

I have one relatively good eater--Turbo, but Bruiser, well let's just say the kid defines picky at two. I keep offering, sometimes he tries, but most often what he tries and doesn't like he spits back out. Sigh, I just sort of go with it at this point. Our standard rule (when kids are old enough to reason with) is to try one bite of everything. If you don't like it all you have to eat is that one bite, but you still have to keep trying it when it is served--tastes change.

Keely

I think he just has (gasp) PREFERENCES. People seem to think that children will eat whatever you put in front of them, if they don't think there is another option. Which is utter bullshit. Kids are small people - go figure! - and will like or dislike things. The likes or dislikes will probably change, but I think if he's eating and growing, what difference does it make?

My own kid has a similar list - yes, lots of them are "kid" foods, but he also likes avocado and broccoli. Some days he'll eat something, some days he won't. Whatever. Why fight over it if he's not literally starving?

Lynn H

really I've heard kids need mostly protein and carbs, which Jude has covered. Mine ate a pretty similar-type list, would eat ANY meat you put in front of her and a variety of carbs but very few veggies or fruits. I do like the "try one bite" rule because it is true that their tastes change; mine is a teen now but has been eating lots of types of green veggies since around age 8 (because she tried salad at a neighbors, etc, and finally broccoli looked good to her), far from the lone raw carrots she used to eat. We also do a vitamin, too, for anything she's missing. Overall, an extremely healthy and active teen who swims, runs, etc. So, again, don't worry; it's all pretty normal--just keep offering it with your meals but I too frown against the tug-of-war over it, as I think that creates more problems down the road.

debbie

I have four. One is a great eater. One would never eat anything smooth at all - and is now 17 and still won't. He's healthy. He's just odd:)

Amy in Australia

Yes! Say it, sister! Oh how I can relate. Actually, looks like Jude is doing great to me--there's a lot of things on that list that my kids wouldn't even look at! I think you're right, there is only so much we can do...we can't make them chew or swallow. Wait, can we? ;)

Michele Renee

My oldest did not like veggies--i was so amazed how his girl cousins ate salad. have to say as he got to be 11 or so seeing the other friends eat other things and wanting to be really strong with sports, or maybe just being older at age 14 now, that he is more interested in his health and eating more fruits/veggies.

Rebecca Sirevaag

Oh, I relate! My oldest (now 7) has major texture issues. Nothing too creamy or smooth. But nothing too chunky, either.
There was a period of time where she pretty much lived on mac & cheese. (which I find disgusting).
We also had the "taste it" rule, which I do think works/helps. She eats a lot more now, and when she'd taste things she'd suddenly discover that they were good. Really. She was eating her one bite of soup one night, we looked away, looked back and the entire bowl was gone. And she told us how good it was.
And my youngest (5) daughter will eat anything. In particular, veggies! She LOVES broccoli, carrots, green beans... Same house. Different kids.
And yes, we're TRULY evil- we do the whole reward thing with desserts. (mostly popsicles) You try everything on your plate and we'll give you a popsicle.
The only real encouragement I give parents is to have them try everything. It does help in the long run.

Elizabeth Foley

I was a lot worse than that. I don't think I ate any vegetables other than green beans, corn, carrots, and qualifying salad vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers), til I was...oh, wait, I guess that's still my basic reportoire. I hate the taste and feel of broccoli. I can't really explain why, but brussel sprouts scare me--to the extent that I still haven't tried them. Same for cauliflower. I have this weird thing about pork products--I'm basically a semi-kosher Episcopalian. And I've never learned to drink milk--when I was 3, my mom told me Christmas morning Santa had taken all of my bottles away (the only way I'd ddink it), and I just decided that was the end of me and milk. I'm amazed my parents didn't kill me. I know it frustrated them. Astonishingly enough though, with the addition of Flintstones to my diet, it all seemed to end up okay. I'm now almost 40 and not obviously growth-stunted, and even managed to pop out 2 healthy kids--whose job it now is to drive me nuts on this very subject. Karma, I guess! Good luck. Know that you're not alone. And that there doesn't have to be a "reason". Sometimes things just are the way they are, and we deal with them the best we can..

Jenni

Have you considered the possibility that he might be a super taster? He seems to have a problem with really strong tasting foods (straight spinach, citrus), but he enjoys sweeter foods (starches are all pretty sweet). Seriously: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_taster

Check out that link. I wonder if you cold have him tested?

tina erickson

OMG! I deal with two picky eaters. I totally relate to this blog. Now, my 12 yr. old girl is not only picky but incredibly pickier than ever before. She told me the other day that she was allergic to glutton. Then she tells me every other day she wants to be a vegetarian but she hardly eats veggies. On and On it goes. Thanks for the blog.

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