Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stacking the cheese....

I have done my youngest son a GRAVE disservice.

Ill explain. My three oldest kids were always raised to eat the food they were served. I have always lived by the motto "this is not McDonald's and you can not have it your way." They know this, and so I serve one meal for dinner and I will not make two different things to cater to different I thought.

SOMEHOW when little Skyler came around, things changed. There is a six year gap between him and his older brother and at some point in raising Skyler...I dropped the ball. The older kids most certainly live by my motto and they eat what they are served, but Skyler has pretty much gotten what he wanted.

Because I did not hold to my standard with my youngest son, in return, I have a very picky eater. Now you might not think this is a big deal but let me tell you how serious this is. It seems a bit funny but truly...its gotten to the point of being very serious.

His diet consists of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, plain vanilla yogurt, and OCCASIONALLY a chicken nugget if I am lucky. Oh, and lets not forget that he would live on milk if I would let him. He LOVES milk and drinks tons and tons of it. This little boy has not had a veggie or any other piece of food in his entire life. I know.....I know...bad bad mommy. How did this happen to me. I have always been a very very strict mom when it came to eating. I'm so disappointed in myself.

So, because things are about to change, and when I say that I mean REALLY change for him, I have to retrain my sons eating. He is about to go to daycare because I am looking for a job outside the home for the first time in his little life. Can you imagine if he were to go to daycare like this?

Let me tell you the current situation. It is now 3:43 p.m and my little Skyler REFUSES to eat anything. People, he has not had a bite of food all day long and that is no exaggeration. Now if he could have his way he would be pigging out on peanut butter sandwiches and milk till the sun went down...but I cant allow that anymore. So my plan of action is to offer him a new food every day and just leave it out (Ive replaced the cheese on the table when it got nasty) and when he gets hungry he will eat, but nothing else will be offered, not even milk.

So today, we are trying cheese. You would think that something as simple as cheese would be easy...but no....we are currently going on about three hours of sitting at the table...stacking cheese......let me show you....I guess its more fun to stack instead of eat.

Any advice is certainly welcome. Please be kind, I am an experienced mom....although it doesn't show right now.


debbiedoO said...

Hmm. This is a tuffy.

I would probably continue to do what you are doing, but because (at the end of the day) you've contributed to this little ehm, "problem", I wouldn't go completely cold turkey on the little guy.

Perhaps you can set ground rules...such as he is allowed to have ONE glass of milk with each meal. (3 glasses a day for a little boy seems reasonable, and in truth is not a bad habit.) Additionally, you don't want him to get dehydrated so this will help.

Other than that, YES he is absolutely going to need to learn to eat things other than peanut butter sandwiches. That's crazy! Eventually, he's going to get hungry. I would make sure that you ARE making yummy food as an alternative though. Because otherwise, he really will hate life.

Good luck, let us know!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebekah,

I have been following your blog for a while, but have never commented. I had to comment on this, though! You are doing the exact right thing! I have been told by numerous pediatrician's that children WILL NOT starve themselves. When they get hungry enough, they WILL eat!! Dr. James Dobson suggests doing exactly what you are doing: putting the same plate of food out at each meal until the child eats it.

One suggestion might be to offer Skylar more than one choice of "new" food. Perhaps some sliced apples with the cheese? Then at least he has a couple of things to choose from while still being forced to try new foods. Also, maybe you could combine something he loves--peanut butter--with a new item. I love peanut butter on apple slices! Or maybe you could put fresh strawberries in his vanilla yogurt. Just a thought!

Lisa said...

what your doing is what every doctor told me with my typical kiddo, eventually he WILL get hungry and eat what you have for him. Stay strong Mommy :)

All My Monkeys said...

Great Job, mom. Keep it up. And a good "project" to work on while he's your only child to focus on.

I think the last commenter made some good suggestions. Give him some choice at each meal of 2 or 3 foods, so that at least he has some control. Maybe you could even do this at the grocerfy store; ask him to pick 3 new foods he will try that week. The mixing of faves and not-so-faves (apples and pb) might work, but if he's anything like my 2 1/2 yo, he'll just eat the part he likes and push the rest to the side.

Midwest Mom said...

Great advice that I, too, really, really need to follow. How come we can get so off track? I totally give in to our 3 and half year old- probably cause she makes the most noise! Her eating habits are not far off from Skylar's. Uggh!!

Love your plan though- stick to it!!! Great job starting little transitions now. You are so wise :)

L said...

Yes, you've gotten good advice in your comments. The idea is to offer healthy options. When he's hungry, he'll eat. You've just got to stick to your guns and not pull out the peanut butter when he gives you those eyes that make you melt (something about little boys - they all have "the look" that makes mom melt). :) Good for you for deciding to step up the health game!

Chelle said...

Have you heard the saying that if there is food around, a dog will never starve? My husband always used to tell me that when my dog refused to eat the flavor of dog food I bought her. My vet used to say the same thing. If they get hungry enough, they will eat what is around for the eating. That is the only advice I have, if he gets hungry enough, he will eat what you give him. At least I would hope....

Good luck with this. Hopefully he isn't super stubborn for long!

~Katie said...

Awesome job abd I know exactly what you mean. I give into my youngest too, but not my oldest. "This is what's for dinner" is my motto too. My sisters youngest sounds a lot like Syler. All he wants are peanut butter sandwhiches. When he won't eat she says FINE, but THIS will be the next food you are served until you eat it. So, she would put it in the fridge and save it and when it was time for the next meal it would reappear in front of him. It didn't take long to get him eating peas and carrots and all the other foods. He'll come around. Just stay consistant! That's the hardest part. :) You are an AWESOME MOM!!!

Anonymous said...

Ditto what the others said, stick with it, he will not starve. You might also want to check what the daycare lunch menu is (if they are providing a hot lunch) and start to slowly integrate some of those foods into your menu if possible. That way when he starts going there, he will be familiar with the foods.

Anonymous said...

So how is the food training going? Did he finally eat the cheese?!

Lerin said...

I have NO advice on this! Sophie would eat everything we put in front of her, Bella was pickier... Ben is the worst so far! We tried recently to be sticklers about the kids eating what WE all eat at dinnertime, and it works with Bella. Ben cried for an hour, hysterically, at the table but refused to get down because he was hungry last night. We tried loving him through it, but Adam eventually just stood up, went to the freezer and made the poor kid some chicken nuggets, cheese, and fruit.

Ben isn't as bad as Skyler, though! I can't imagine having that limited amount of food he'd eat! Good luck, Mama. No one said this would be easy, right?