Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Encouragement for those of you with picky eaters

Sprite is my picky eater. 

Always has been.  My hope is that she won't always be.  Puck, on the other hand, would eat anything and everything.  (One time I actually found that he had eaten an entire cooked baby crab, shell and all.  It wasn't soft-shell, either.  But that's a story for another day.)

Seafood, weird textures and new flavors have always thrown her off.  I blame myself.  We always learn with that poor first kid, don't we?  I really don't remember, but I'm sure when she was our only one if I made something she didn't like I just made her a PBJ so she'd eat.  Then Scamp came along, and all of a sudden I had a lot less time and energy, and making a second meal, no matter how simple, just wasn't what I wanted to do with my life anymore.

So I started giving her a choice:  eat what I made, or go hungry.

I finally caved with seafood, namely shrimp, scallops, mussels or anything else that is a bit more expensive.  I'd rather not waste any on a person who just can't enjoy it.  So I would usually make her some chicken instead.

However.  However, I would require that she at least have a bite of whatever it might be that was offensive to her.  Just a small bite.  Sometimes it would sit on her plate till the very end of dinner when she would finally hold her nose and, with all the drama possible, choke it down with the help of milk.

Oh, how I wish I was kidding.  Alas, I am not.

This was the norm.  Until two weeks ago.  I fixed salmon.  I gave her the one-bite ration.  She ate it first, I assume to get it over with.  Then, the unspeakable happened.

The heavens stood still and all listened while she quietly said these four words, "That wasn't too bad."

"Really?!?"  I said.  I think I may have shrieked.  Maybe.

While she didn't ask for seconds, it was certainly a major milestone for this child.

Tonight, I made Soba Noodle Soup.  (You really must try this recipe, it is so yummy, so good for you, and could not be easier.  Plus, it takes all of 15 minutes to throw together.)  I used tofu for all of us, but I threw in some chicken with Sprite's as well as a few pieces of tofu.  When I told her about the chicken addition so she wouldn't get all offended, do you know what she said? 

"Actually, I kind of like the tofu.  Can I have some more?"

Oh. my. gosh. 

I think I shrieked again.

So the next time  a parenting magazine or your child's doctor tells you that you should just keep on feeding your kid what you're eating, do it.  Don't stop.  One day you just may have an adventurous eater on your hands.  The impossible could happen.

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