Keeping it Real: Dishing on My Boys’ Pickiness and Progress

Keeping things real is what Mom Dishes It Out is all about – and that includes the setbacks too. I’m the first to admit it; for every two steps forward that my kids make, they also eventually take at least one step back. In these instances, it’s most important to remember that the evidence continues to build supporting food exposure, rather than force feeding, works when given ample time and patience.
At the end of the day, my children are the real deal, and they give me plenty of experiences to share with you, my readers. Here’s what’s happening on the pickiness home front in my kitchen.
Hot and cold. I am not talking food temperature. Hot and cold has to do with Billy’s fickle nature when it comes to the most natural form of dried mango. One day he gobbles it down, and the next day Billy tells me he doesn’t like this type of mango anymore. So I give him sweetened dried mango. After eating this for about a week, I reintroduce the unsweetened dried mango and he happily eats it. This cycle is the never-ending.
Foods get breaks too. Raisins are another food in my household that the boys tend to love one month and despise the next. I used to always give the boys a box of unsweetened raisins as a snack or side with their lunch. Eventually, I noticed it coming back in Bobby’s lunch box. When I asked him about the raisins, he said he didn’t want them anymore (I believe he actually said he didn’t like them). After six blissful years of raising Bobby, I know that this means I am tired of this food.
About 6 months after this incidence, I’ve now reintroduced raisins—in addition to apple slices and string cheese—to Bobby’s lunch meal. And guess what: His lunch box is coming home empty! It’s not just raisins, apples or string cheese; this has happened with many foods. Moms and Dads, we need to remember children may express interest in old and new foods alike, so keep reintroducing and introducing foods.
Sneaking it in or dressing it up. Just the other day, I told Billy he eats pasta, and he was okay with this statement. Oddly enough, Billy does not like pasta, well with one exception. The trick is if I add his pasta to yogurt with wheat germ, he happily eats it and amazingly doesn’t say boo. In fact, this bizarre combination has become an everyday food for him.
I know that Billy is picky. I’m the first to admit that even registered dietitians can’t promise to raise perfect eaters. Using my professional and personal experience though, I also know that sneaking certain ingredients into foods I know he likes, for instance disguising pasta in yogurt or carrots in carrot cake, is acceptable while working along the continuum of exposure and variety. At the end of the day, if it gets Mr. Picky Palate to eat them, he is healthier and I am happier. While this may not be my first line of action, allowing Billy the opportunity to explore tastes and textures in an unintimidating way allows for progress.



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