Saturday, December 6, 2008

What toddlers will eat

Here's an instructional post on toddler eating preferences. One common suggestion to get toddlers to eat new foods is to make sure they are presented in a fun and aesthetic manner, and to make sure the food is of high quality. This does not always work. In fact, I'd say our success rate is pretty low. Here are three rejected presentations from the lunch Quinn just ate:

1. Very fancy packaged toddler meal with fun star shapes! Yumm! Chicken! And we know you like peas and carrots!


2. OK, how about Ravioli with organic marinara sauce in a fun froggie bowl! Mmmm, Yum! You LOVE red sauce!


3. What if daddy takes the peas and carrots from #1 and makes a cute smiley face! You love cooked carrots (when they're in the cheap "Gerber Graduates" toddler meals). And you eat peas all the time! How cute!


4. OK, what if we just throw some cereal and raisins on your tray?


(The blotch on his hand is a stamp from Tumble & Tea (soon to be SadieDey's Cafe), where we spent the morning.)

I don't think this pickiness has anything to do with Quinn's Fragile X. Toddlers are notoriously finicky about what they eat. We are trying to expand his food repertoire. In fact, the raisins are a recent and most welcome addition in that department. But Quinn does not care how much time or love you put into preparing his food. No credit given for showing your work or for effort. He is a harsh critic whose verdicts cannot be appealed, though you may re-submit at a later time and hope for a different decision.

Now the first three tries described above didn't really take up that much time. But the rejection still stings. And we worry about him getting proper nutrition. On the other hand, it is somewhat fun to have a problem that is common to all toddlers. Most of our problems separate us from other families. This is one that brings us together.


WritingAllNight said...

Nope, it isn't a Fragile-X thing. You are totally right, it's a toddler or more properly, a KID thing.

I just wrote about how my 'typical' 4 year old won't eat 'ugly' food now. Obviously ugly is subjective. Hamburger helper, which she's only eaten a few times is 'ugly'.

Suddenly, eggs, which she and her brother always asked for are now ugly.

But, since you're cutting out star sandwiches can you come by and drop me off one? I missed supper while chasing the nutters around.

Anonymous said...

yep totally a kid thing. I had a perfectly normal foster son who spent a year only eating blue food. That was a whole year of food coloring food and drinks!! Now I have a 16 yr old who whines about every food that crosses her path. I don't know what to do with her!!

Umma said...

What I love about toddler eating habits is the unpredictability. One day, pasta with butter is irresistible, MORE, MORE, MORE! And the next time...NO, NO, NO. Just so much fun.

Bjetsey said...

yep, total love injected into making /= likelihood of positive reception. I like how you have cataloged it though, so great. Nunzio likes boxed mac n' cheese over mama's homemade. wtf?