Monday, November 7, 2011

Looky Looky! That Ain't No Cookie!

It's only the second week of NaBloPoMo and I've already missed several days. Honestly, with my blogging track record recently, I am happy to be blogging once a week. I'm also happy to see my traffic going up. Hi everyone!

Love Invents Us has kindly published some prompts and thank g-d for that! I will definitely use some of them this month.

After our visit with the girls' aunt this week, I wanted to talk about all the weirdness and politics that goes on in our donor sibling group with our donors' family (our open donor from the sperm bank became a known donor after he died a while back), but I started writing that post and I'm getting all tangled up. Too many things to explain to do that easily, so I will save that for later!

So let's talk about toddler eating habits.

We have a girl who eats most anything (loves BROCK-y! olives! pickles! all the things toddlers don't normally like! ) and a girl who eats very few things. We are lucky that our girl who eats very few things mainly prefers plain and/or healthy things like tofu, but she still frustrates us daily. Regular foods both of them are: pasta, tofu, plain yogurt, peanut butter (on waffles/toast), black beans and rice, hot dogs (organic chicken, beef or turkey), bananas (and other fruit- they never refuse fruit!), waffles, eggs. Ru used to eat cheese, but she's stopped that too. They don't drink juice and they only have cake or cookies or other desserts on rare special occasions.

How do we get them to eat vegetables? I'd add veg to sauces if Ru would eat sauce on anything.

We are trying so hard to keep power struggles away from the table. We offer things, but we don't push. Instead, if Ru refuses to eat what's being served, we'll give her a serving of plain yogurt or beans or something else. But seriously, she LOOKS at food and decides she's not going to eat it. There's no "just taste it"... we don't even get to that point. As girls with food issues, we want to keep our kids from struggling- especially since they will most likely have weight problems with their genes, let's be honest. We don't want them to feel pressure because we don't want them to eat every bite of something just because someone offered it (unless they want to of course). But dang, sometimes you just want to force them to eat just a bite.

Anyone have tips? Or a cookbook you like?


  1. I can totally relate! One of the hardest things about parenthood for me is that I can't control what my kid eats, when he sleeps, etc. I can influence things, and try to create the optimal conditions for whatever I want to happen, but I just can't make him do things if he doesn't want to.
    We have really loved the book Child of Mine, by Ellyn Satter. There's lots of good stuff in it, but the most important part for us has been her differentiation of what is a kid's job and what is a parent's job when it comes to food. It's our job to provide a variety of healthy food options. But it's the kid's job to decide what to eat. There are days when Tadpole gets excited about eating snow peas, and I feel so excited that this approach is "working". And then there's days when he eats almost nothing for dinner because he has turned his nose up at all of the dishes we are serving, and I feel unsure about whether this is all a good idea.
    I think there's two reasons we've stuck with the approach, despite our frustrations. 1)It makes dinner time so much more pleasant when we don't get into power struggles about food. 2)I really like the idea of teaching Tadpole to listen to his own internal cues about what and how much to eat (from among healthy options). That's the way I want him to eat when he's a grown-up, so why shouldn't we eat that way now.
    Wow, that turned into more of a soapbox than I'd intended. Sorry. Hope it's helpful.

  2. Just keep offering it. Keep having it available. Maiya hated salad, and hates dressings and sauces. Every night, I would give her like 3 little itty bitty bites of salad, plain lettuce. now she is wrapping up a raisin in the lettuce and calls it a taco. and, i don't like to say that i'm bribing, but a little "ok, if you want more fruit, have a little bit of lettuce first." and we do the just taste it, because with maiya, many times, she surprises herself by liking it, whatever it is, and if she doesn't, then it goes in the ok, you don't have to eat it column. tomatos, potatos, avocados, onions. we kept her away from processed foods, but in sports, the parents put crap in every snack bag, that's 2 a week. fruity rope comes out, she knows that some fruit snacks are just candy.

  3. So glad that you aren't making it a power struggle.
    I have the same issues with my boys. Cam won't even eat apples and barely eats bananas. I can get him to swallow a pea or a bean if we cheer and high five. but only 1.
    I've been "offering" him veggies for 3 years. nothin'.
    I have no advice other than to say....good luck and you're not alone.