Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Only Problem With A Child Who Will Eat Anything...
All of my kids are good eaters, but my oldest son is by far the, "best." Parents of picky eaters have often commented, "I wish my kids would eat like that!" But, it hasn't always been a good thing...
While he was helping me make kale chips several weeks ago, he asked if he could eat some of the raw kale. This actually represented a big step for him- not that he was eating the kale, but that he ASKED before eating it.
You see, the only problem with a boy who will eat anything... is that he is a boy who will eat ANYTHING!
At around 2 years old, my daughter wanted to play tea party. We made herbal tea and served it with her tea set. I suddenly looked over at my son and saw something black all around his mouth.... he had eaten the entire tea bag (fortunately it was the kind without a string and staple!)
My daughter brought home a small "sticky" hand from the dentist office- he ate it.
All kids tend to eat sand, but you always hear that once they try it, they won't like it and they won't do it again. However, when we had a sand box he ate sand every single day- and seemed to like it.
I made him a sensory bin with dried lentils only to find his diaper full of lentils the next day.
I have had to fish rocks, and grass, and flowers out of his mouth. He drank pool water like some kids suck down juice boxes.
Between the ages of about 18 months until 4 years old, I had poison control on speed dial and often wondered how many times I could call before they would report me to child protective services.
Here are a few of the incidents which warranted a call to poison control:
*At 18 months, he ate my deodorant.
*At 2 years old he drank a sample of skin conditioning oil that I was given at a salon.
*At 2 1/2 we were staying at my parents ski condo. I put him down for a nap, but heard him playing in the room instead. When I went into the room, there were green crumbles all over the floor. I asked him what it was and he said, "My hamburger." What?? I looked in the closet and saw that my parents had put an odor absorber in the closet which had dried into a green clump. My son had found it and apparently thought it was a hamburger.
Now that he is almost 6 years old, I'm hoping that the days of saying, "What did you just put into your mouth?" are over.
My son's story, illustrates the fact that all kids are different when it comes to their relationship with food. Because of this, all kids cannot be taught how to be "good eaters," in the same way. For him, I just needed to make sure that I provided good healthy foods and he would eat them. At the same time, I needed to keep unhealthy foods (and non foods) out of his reach.
My daughter, on the other hand, has always been very independent. When I first started feeding her baby food she wouldn't eat anything! Fortunately, I realized that it was not the food that she didn't like, it was the act of being fed. At 8 months, I began giving her only finger foods, and she ate just about anything I gave her. Even now at 7 years old, it is clear that the more involvement she has in picking the food or making the food, the more likely she is to try something new.
My two year old is strong willed and whether or not he eats something has little to do with the food itself and everything to do with whether it has been served the way he wants it to be served. The wrong plate or wrong utensil- forget it, he won't eat. If you peel the banana, and he wanted to eat it in the peel- he won't eat it. If he wanted a whole carrot and you cut it into carrot sticks- nope, won't eat it.
Each child has taught me something new about how to help kids be good eaters- and they teach me something new every day.
Do you see your child's personality reflected in their eating style?
Do you have a child who will eat anything? What is the strangest thing your child has ever eaten?