09 May 2013

Don't Call Me a Short Order Cook...

toddlers picky eating, picky eaters, motherhood frustrations, toddler phases that last a long time
I made Mac & Cheese Deluxe (brand specific) for MONTHS.
Then, when I took him to see Santa there was a giant noodle there to mock me.

or a caterer. I am a mom to a picky eater - and chances increase that you'll have one too, the more you scoff at the idea. Motherhood has been teaching me some big lessons such as never say never (NEVER!) and if you've judged a mom before having kids it's likely you'll find yourself in the same situation tenfold.

Go ahead. Try it. I dare you.

I didn't believe picky eaters existed. I also thought not liking the crusts on bread was a learned behavior.

I listened to all the hardcore breastfeeders and baby-led-weaners say that baby's palate would be mature and used to so many flavors that they wouldn't be picky eaters.


With toddlers the topic of food comes up everywhere. Newsletters, message boards, playgrounds, it's the new STTN (sleep through the night). And it has brought me to tears of frustration more than once.

I see stars when other moms make comments like well, I refuse to be a short order cook.


If you think that's what I am because there are only five things at on any given week that my child will actually consume................well, maybe that makes me one but cut the condescending tone. You'd be banging your head against the wall, too, if you were in my shoes. However, I'm not flipping burgers or searing up something special on the side (don't I wish!!!) but rather handing him something on that week's OK-to-eat list.

Picky eaters and food aversions are a real thing - and a real problem for many parents. It's stressful. Oh, it is so stressful. He used to eat whatever we put in front of him when we did BLW. He is still breastfed so he's still exposed to whatever I eat to some degree. He isn't just eating a little and shoving his veggies aside. I found petrified string cheese the other day when I was cleaning...a full stick! I'd remembered being excited that he'd eaten it because his appetite while sick had decreased even more. But no...

What's a mom to do? We can't shove the food into their bellies. I offer him whatever I am having and so does my husband, and at dinner he joins us. But he will also have something available that he will eat. While I can't force him to eat I'll run a finger of flavor over his lips. He'll shake his head and gag usually. What has worked (even the tiniest bit) is just leaving him alone.

He sometimes sneaks his tastes in when we aren't looking. Sometimes even a whole bite! It's a very big deal.

I started writing about his picky eating one year ago last week in my journal. One YEAR. I know it won't last forever (he finally got the hang of STTN at 22 months!) but it's been a very.long.time.

If you meet a mom of a picky eater it's better to lend a shoulder rather than make comments about how she is probably catering to the problem. Our kids all have quirks. I'll listen to your woes of battling toddler constipation or aggressive behavior without a peep. Promise, cross my heart.

This week in picky eating Tristan will eat

  • wheat bread
  • peanut butter & honey sandwiches
  • string cheese (Giant brand only)
  • turkey sausage
  • few bites of oranges or strawberries
  • craisins, maybe
  • bubbles

One confession, though:

He really loves pizza.

...but we save this trick for special occasions like he-was-sick-for-a-week-and-didn't-eat.


  1. I had to chuckle at Bubbles. :)
    Lovie used to eat any and everything. she's not nearly as picky as many kids her age (she actually LIKES most veggies), but she's definitely pickier than she ever was before. I don't even bat an eye to it, truthfully. as long as she's eating something nutritional at least once a day, it's all good.

    1. Haha, that was Brandon's contribution when I asked. "Bubbles." ::sigh:: they're chocolate-scented, by the way.

      The logical side knows he's OK. He's gaining weight and [mostly] healthy. <--other than the plague we're all recovering from

  2. Bubbles! Ha!

    You know I feel you on this. Here is Eleanor's list:

    *Dried cherries
    *Hummus licked off of a pretzel thin
    *Pasta w/ red sauce
    *Sausage picked off of a pizza slice
    *Colby cheese stick

    Yeah, that's about it. So stressful!!

    1. He says, "Buddles, num num nummyyy!" and then eats them off the wand. I will have to capture this moment so one day I can look back and laugh ;)

      WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!? I've never seen a colby cheese stick. I bet he'd hate it, anyway. Haha.

  3. I so feel you. P's list:

    pasta with butter and cheese
    red pepper
    peanut butter and nutella sandwiches
    mango (gah, expensive!)
    string cheese (only store brand)
    scrambled eggs (only sometimes)
    raw stringbeans (but really only two at most)

  4. And she used to eat everything, too! But I don't feel bad because all my friends whose kids were eating everything up until age three now ALL have picky eaters - except for my one spanking friend.

    1. So frustrating. Oh, pancakes! If I do them once/week it's a win! Well maybe this all leads to....less picky eating.


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