These days, I have to get food into him by preparing not one meal, but TWO. Meal portion #1 I call the Food of Value. That's the stuff I really want him to eat -- veggies and meat, fruit, that kind of thing. Portion #2, though, I call the Food of Interest. It's what I have to basically entice him to eat with, then slip in bites of the Food of Value in between.
Sample Foods of Value:
- Beef with carrots and green beans
- Chicken with squash and peas
- Bananas with apples and pears
- Turkey with sweet potatoes
Sample Foods of Interest (a.k.a., Things You're Appalled I've Fed to My Child):
- Cinnamon graham cracker bits
- Goldfish (the crackers, not the pets)
- Torn pieces of string cheese
- Kraft macaroni and cheese
- Ramen noodle bits (he adores them)
- Oscar Meyer bologna (ok, it was 98% fat free and all-beef, but STILL, right?)
I'm not sure why he's such a picky eater -- husband and I aren't what you'd call difficult eaters ourselves. But my mother has (rather gleefully, I might add) reminded me that I went through a phase as a one-year-old when I would eat literally nothing but hot dogs, cheese and Cheerios. And though I'm horrified that I was such a little toot about it, I'm somewhat encouraged that my child will someday be able to get through a meal of normal, regular food that I actually want him to eat. I feel so sneaky these days when I feed him -- I have to wave a piece of string cheese at him until he looks at it, then drop it on his high chair tray and while he's engaged in picking it up, I tiptoe in with two or three bites of the real food. And it's a battle I'm losing, because he gets more dextrous every day, whereas there's a limit to how quickly I can get a spoon of mushy food from the bowl to his mouth. The faster he gets with the fine motor skills, the less time I have to get those precious bites of vegetables into his jaws.
Please -- someone tell me it gets easier.