Thursday, February 2, 2012

State of eating - picky eater update

It's been too long since I updated life with the picky eater.  My smart, eager, always learning, and very strong seven year old has dealt me a hand I'm not sure how to play.

Since my last update, we haven't gotten too far.  At one point I bought Ethel's weight in pasta (gradually, when it went on sale), and vowed to always have one thing (pasta) on our dinner plate that she would like eat.  Some nights this was more difficult than others, but, overall we managed for a while.

Then, she stopped eating mac & cheese.  My every Wednesday night meal. 

As a working (outside the home) mom, I was so happy to have one night a week to look forward to a predictable, easy meal that we all could enjoy.  Not the most healthy, but necessary with our busy schedules.  On top of it all, it's cheap. 

So, I reorganize my weekly menus and come up with something to replace my Wednesday night meal, and we soldier on.  And she eats mac & cheese at a friend's house.  I want to scream.

In the meantime, we can't afford the therapy any longer, and discontinued in October. 

Things continued on their frustrating path through the end of the year, when I finally decided I couldn't do it any more.  I told Ethel, straight up, she gets *exactly* what everyone else gets.  If I don't have pasta in my dinner, there's no pasta.  If she doesn't eat it, she doesn't eat it.  There is no other option, there is no second choice.  This is it.  By this time, she'd started barely eating even some of her favorite pasta and the amount she would eat at dinner had greatly dwindled.

The new year started a bit rough.  The return to school makes everything a bit rough.  Combine the return to school after a week at home with not having a food choice that you like on your plate every night, and I would venture to guess that 2012 came to a tough start for Ethel.

Here we are in February.  We're no farther than we were in August of last year, or any time since Ethel was a toddler.  I have adjusted to my new weekly menu and have learned to be more relaxed in my menu planning and not stress over what goes on our plates and who will like what.  I've never been a short order cook, but it's very hard for me to find meals that all of us will sit down and enjoy.

I digress.

I took a chance earlier in January and bought some children's protein bars.  I took the chance because they were on sale, because they were chocolate chip, and because if she didn't want them, I would eat them! 

I took a chance.

She took a chance.

She actually likes them.

I was shocked.

She was happy.

Then, she did it again.

At the grocery store, we passed a display of Kashi cereal bars, and she asked me if she could have them.  I told her I wasn't sure she'd like them.  I told her we could try them.  I knew I'd eat them if she didn't. 

She took a chance.
She actually likes them.

She now gets a cereal or protein bar in her lunch every day.  She likes them, she eats them, and I'm happy for that.

That's about the only change we've had.  She still goes to bed without dinner a night or two a week.  She still fights about not having something she wants.  She's taken the battle to breakfast if we run out of a cereal she wants one morning.  

Just this week she took a tumble and busted her upper lip, making it difficult to eat her daily lunch staple, Nutella on whole wheat bread.  She agreed to oatmeal, and that's working well for her.

I wish I could say that she'd made some big changes in her diet and added vital foods, but it's not in the cards, at least not right now. 

It will happen, though.  Some day, it will happen.