Confession: I Have a Picky Eater
My husband and I will eat almost anything once. We grow and serve a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as they come into season. Humanely raised meat of many kinds and eclectic grains accompany our meals. Ethnic foods make the rounds in our meal plans too.
But my daughter doesn't eat them.
Like so many kids, Lil munched up on orange peppers, tofu, mango, asparagus, broccoli, and more as a toddler. She tried food of all flavors, at one time enjoying sucking on raw limes.
Now, this is what she *might* eat: chicken and fish with no brown or colored bits, meatballs or sausage with no offending flavors or textures, milk, kefir, yogurt, rice, pancakes, waffles, some kinds of potato chips, plain pasta, whole wheat bread, pretzels, carrots, apples, dried cranberries, and bananas. If we count worthless unhealthy food, the list expands to include cheesy chips like cheetos, corn chips, chocolate anything, lollipops, and several other candies. Note: backyard fresh eggs from our chickens are not on the list.
Garden fresh veggies are a slim possibility for Lil-approved eating. She loves being out in the yard and often will chew on fresh mint while she putters around. Last year she occasionally ate peas and beans from the vine. This year she planted them in her garden "for you to eat, Mama".
I am not in a panic because many four to seven year olds go through a picky stage. It's developmentally appropriate, she is still growing, and at least one study has shown that even picky kids choose foods that get them appropriate nutritional content.
Yet this is a frustrating phase. If nothing is served that makes Lil's list, she fusses or doesn't eat which results in fussing later. To serve a Lil favored meal every night would bore the adults in the house. Restaurant dining has turned into a disaster because Lil doesn't even like traditional kid foods.Continued on the next page