Monday, November 7, 2011

The Toddler Diet

Meg is becoming a picky eater. Wait, no that's not right. She's not picky about what she eats, she's just picky about when she eats it. So, I guess you could say Meg is becoming a sporadic eater.

There are days that all she will eat are a few blueberries and maybe a glass of milk. It doesn't matter what I offer her, how I offer it, she won't eat anything else. She will drink water, but only if it's sparkly water, or maybe mixed with a little bit of apple juice. Not too much apple juice though, she doesn't "yike it" when it actually may deliver some nutrients and calories to her body.

Nope, not eating the candy. Just looking at it.

There are also days when Meg seems to be hollow inside and will eat everything in site. Actually, "days" is being too hopeful. There are hours, or meals when she will devour everything. She will eat her entire plate of food, and then ask for seconds while starting in on mine or Ryan's. She will eat banana after banana after apple and then want string cheese and pasta.

We've tried to alter Meg's dietary habits. We've done the "take three bites" stuff. We've tried to supplement her diet on non-eating days with Ensure. We've tried offering treats and incentives. Nothing has worked. Apparently our efforts aren't really necessary, because her energy level doesn't seem to waver no matter if she's eaten a full meal, or two saltines and a pat of butter. Actually, in Meg's case it would be three pats of butter, hold the saltine. Butter is the one food that is always welcome in Meg's world.

Now we are just letting Meg be Meg. If she doesn't want to eat, we don't make her. When she does, we are at her beck and call. I know some people might think that's being indulgent, but I would rather do that than force her to eat, and have her develop some weird love/hate relationship with food. She still knows that we all sit together to eat, and that not wanting to eat doesn't mean she's excused. Of course, she also knows that if she decides to eat later we can always pull out leftovers.

I just wonder how long it will be until she is joining me for my midnight snacks...

13 comments:

Nicole said...

Food wars are right a t the top of my "Things I Hate About Parenting" list. Kids are weirdos.

Genie said...

When my son was a toddler I spent time googling "how to get a toddler to eat OMFG" (maybe minus that last bit) and found a dietary site that declared that toddlers really only *need* three good meals a week. A WEEK. That they can live healthily like that. And I stopped worrying. He existed on a lot of pasta and when I truly counted he ate probably six reasonable meals in a week. I think it's a good idea to just back off ... Make sure most of what you offer is healthy and them don't worry. For the record mine is now nearly six and healthy as a horse. :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I know too many teenagers with eating disorders because they were forced to eat by parents when they were toddlers. You are doing the right thing, don't make it a battlefield. Don't force her to eat, be strong but don't let her just indulge in eating crap and nothing else. If she's not hungry for good food then she's not hungry for bad either. ;)

Amanda said...

The moment she is caught eating raw pie dough or cold tortillas with butter, it is time for an intervention.

makingmonkeysoup.com said...

They eat when they are hungry. Mea still does this. She'll eat everything she can get her little hands on for a couple of days, and then she'll quit eating, and it will seem like she is trying some sort of liquid diet cleanse.

One of the battles not worth fighting.

makingmonkeysoup.com said...

I forgot! Love the dragon!

Riot Kitty said...

The cutest picture ever!!

I agree w/Joey on the food thing btw. Don't get me started. I grew up with a binge eater.

Granny Annie said...

Now you are doing the exact right thing. I hate to do this, but I shall use my dog as an example. I have the healthiest and fittest dog in the world and she eats when she needs to eat. We keep food in the feeder outside and food in the house and she has always known there will be food when she needs it. She does not overeat, though she will beg special treats. My friends pets are obese and lazy and are only allowed to eat once or twice a day then the food bowl is removed.

ruby falls said...

Luli is the same. Some days she eats and eats and eats. Others, not so much. As a foodie, it kills me that I can count the things that she will eat on one hand; as a parent, I'm just glad there are some things she will eat.

Michon said...

If nothing else, you can always take comfort in the fact that I am joining you for midnight snacks.

KellyDove said...

Just glad to know my kid is in good company. :)

for a different kind of girl said...

Last night I actually had to barter with my 14 year old son to eat what had been less than a quarter cup of green beans on his plate. Then I realized what I was doing and forced myself to stop. My teenage son has the appetite of a toddler, the energy of a gazelle, and ribs that I can see through his t-shirt, but he's healthy, and I guess I need to just eat my mouth shut about eating. Or keep it busy just eating my own damn green beans!

Elizabeth said...

I don't think that's indulgent in the least--it sounds like responsible toddler parenting, and when ours is old enough to have opinions about food beyond BLECH or YUMOMGGIMMEMORE, I'm sure we'll do similarly.