A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Picky Eaters ...

It's been a long time since I've written anything about Jonah's eating habits ... needless to say, most of those that know our family well, know that nothing has changed. The child has incredibly sensitive senses ... smells are more smelly, textures are worse, and food is a constant issue. You name it: we've tried it. Bribing. Rewards. Starving the child until he will try a food. Offering bites at every meal. Being an "adventurous" eater. Putting foods into a smoothie. "Try It Bites".

It feels like we've tried every method we can find, every attempt we can come up with. With little success. Jonah eats no meat, no pasta, no traditional breads, few veggies, no cheese, few grains, and whatever else is on the no-go list. He survives on fruits, pumpkin and zucchini bread, milk, yogurt, lime chips, carrots, and a couple cereals and crackers that he doesn't gag on. He would eat strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and chocolate chex for every meal if we would let him. Now, on one hand, when sweets are carefully monitored (as I attempt for them to be), his diet is rather healthy. The trouble is: how can you take this child out to eat? How can we go over for dinner at friends' houses? We have to bring food for him. And it is not the bringing of food that actually is an issue ... but I will admit, it does get a bit old. And every person we come into contact with looks at me like I've half a brain and says: "Well, haven't you tried ..." Yes. YES. YES. We've tried it. We haven't come so far as to literally withholding food for more than 24 hours yet until he eats chicken or something, but we've tried a lot. Eli and I have wrestled with it, brainstormed til my head could explode: we have tried!

Perhaps Jonah will be a vegetarian his entire life. I suppose that I can't really complain about that. Perhaps someday he will finally give a sandwich and real try and realize what he has been missing! I don't know ... We do the best we can. We try not to take offense when it is obvious that others think we are terrible parents because of his eating habits. All I know that we have tried and tried and tried. And as far as we can tell, we raised Jonah and Reuben very similarly in how we offered food, and Reuben will gobble down most things. Jonah gave a speech a few weeks ago about wanting to eat blueberries all the time and how good they were ... Reuben looked perplexed ... then loudly proclaimed: "I want hot dogs wrapped in bacon!"

Those are my boys.

And along came Matthias. Number 3. 14 months old. He is very scarily eating like Jonah. We offer it ALL to him. We have since he could mash food around in his mouth. He seemed fairly normal. And now - he refuses meat. Doesn't want to try noodles. Would much rather have a banana or yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter. Eli and I look at each other - and really I think we both feel like sobbing about it. But, we try and smile, and put food on his tray and hope he will give it a try.

Before I had children, I readily admit, I was quite sure that picky children were completely avoidable and just needed to be forced to eat what the family was eating. And YES. I would love it if Jonah would just eat what we eat. But I have also seen enough gagging, tears, and fought the fight with him for the last five years to see that sometimes, the best I can do as a parent is pray ... and do my best. Ask God to help me understand my child and do what is right. I certainly don't have all the answers. I certainly did not expect this to be one of my biggest parenting challenges = ) But, it is ... it truly is.

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