Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm on a Veggie Strike Mom!

For the last two months Caleb has been on a veggie strike. He refuses to eat them. He had never been picky at all until a couple of months ago. He actually loved to eat his vegetables (especially peas). Then one day he decided that they were no good. I tried to prepare them in different ways and offer him different types, but he always picked around them. I'm not sure why he decided that vegetables are no good but that is exactly what he has done.

There was one day, after about a month into this strike, that he ate about a cup of cooked baby carrots. He just kept shoving them into his mouth like they were going out of style. I thought to myself "hallelujah, the strike is over!" But I rejoiced too soon. The next day he refused them. I watched an episode of "The Doctors" a while back in which this kid refused to eat at all during dinner time. They pretty much just ignored him and he felt left out and started eating. We tried that. It didn't work. Caleb just sat in his chair and made a big mess. He picked around the veggies and ate everything else. Every other food group was fine. Isn't it amazing that a kid can see a new food and know instantly which food group it falls into?

I know that I'm not the only one going through this with my little man. I think that nearly everyone has heard the old adage of kids hating broccoli. So I gave Caleb extra fruits and I made sure to eat my own share of vegetables. Another benefit of nursing my toddler is that as he goes through these picky phases I can rest assured that he is still getting the nutrients he needs through me.

I have been a little sneaky though. I started making fruit smoothies and adding cauliflower and carrots into it. I made pasta and coated it with tomato and lentil pasta sauce (don't tell Adam that he ate lentils and actually liked them though). But other than that, not one kind of vegetable has passed those adorable little lips that have taken the role of a picket line for the last two months.

Last week I made grilled cheese and vegetable soup. I dipped my bread in it and Caleb copied. He also grabbed his spoon and ate some of the veggies in it. He doesn't normally like soup but I think the grilled cheese made it more fun. On Saturday he grabbed a piece of raw cauliflower and dipped it in my veggie dip (I have never given him dip before) and he put it in his mouth before I could grab it from him. He then did the same with a piece of raw broccoli. On Sunday he had rice with peas and corn mixed in. Normally he would have picked around the peas and corn but he actually ate some. Last night I gave him something similar and he ate a VERY small amount of it. I'm hoping this is the end of the strike.

Things I've learned from this:
1. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing for children learning what they like to eat and don't like.
2. Ignoring a child at the supper table makes a mess but allows them to explore their food without someone constantly looking over their shoulder.
3. Keep trying because "this too shall pass."
4. Kids are very observant and will want to copy you with everything you eat. They can tell the difference between a cookie and a whole wheat cracker. (I try to only eat junk food if he is asleep, so I'm typing this with a bowl of chips beside me)
5. It's okay to be sneaky for the benefit of your family.
6. I'm glad that Adam is willing to eat healthy for the sake of Caleb. We rarely have junk food in the house and he (usually) doesn't complain.

1 comment:

  1. I remember obsessing over every little detail of my first borns day...did he nap well, did he nurse well, was he eating a variety of healthy things...now, i just put the food on Alexandras' tray, and let her have at it...she is still nursing, so it is not a big deal...i look forward to her nap-time because i lay down with her and Christian, and don't use the time to play catch-up.