The Picky Eater Turns Two

I just put together a document for Josh’s school about what he’ll eat. I am also distributing it to the various babysitters that are in his life right now. I thought I’d post it here. I am curious if Josh appears to others to be one of the pickiest eaters on the planet (feel free to comment). My older two children ate everything (and I–ahem–credited it to good parenting at the time) so this is new terrain to me. Also, my older two never had sugar in their life until they were much older. But we rejoiced when Josh agreed to eat a cookie. Hey, he was exploring a new texture finally. And Ritz Bits with PB? Believe you me, these would not have been offered to my older two either (they were raised on only organic, whole wheat, highly- fibrous matter). But with Josh, I just rejoiced that he was finally experiencing some other kind of protein other than grated cheese. I was hoping the Ritz Bits would serve as a gateway drug to a PB and J sandwich (hasn’t happened yet–I even tried white squishy bread).

So, if any of you have raised picky eaters, please chime in. Is Josh’s list horribly limited for a two year old? I find myself still resisting the dreaded food clinic (in the summer, when it was recommended for the third time, I pushed it off to our fall punch list–only so much time for all of the special needs that come with Josh). I am now back to thinking that the feeding clinic might cause more problems than it solves.

Here is the food list (sorry, my Word document didn’t transfer in very nicely and I don’t want to spend anymore time messing with it):

Josh, Eating at 2

I am generally a picky eater. I haven’t yet agreed to drink milk or eat bread, meat or eggs. I also reject things like noodles, pancakes and waffles—they just can’t get me to see how yummy these can be. I seem to like mostly crunchy things; that said, I don’t like most veggies. Every now and then, I’ll try a new food and so my list of acceptable food has grown from two things (yogurt and Cheerios) at age one to the list below. Feel free to try to get me to expand my diet.

  1. Apples, without skin
  2. Bananas
  3. Peaches, fresh without skin and canned diced peaches
  4. Very small baby carrots (or carrots cut extremely thin). Don’t give me too many at once. I love carrots and put too much in my mouth at one time and have a hard time swallowing them.
  5. Cheddar cheese and I favor grated cheese
  6. Peanut Butter, on crackers or dipped in apple slices
  7. Mini Ritz bits with peanut butter
  8. Flavored Triscuit crackers
  9. Wheat Thins

10. Goldfish or Annie’s Organic Bunnies (Crackers)

11. Cheerios (prefer plain vs. sweetened flavors)

12. Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Vanilla Smiley Snacks (sort of like cereal—iron fortified).

13. Yogurt (most often Stonyfield organic). Banana is my favorite flavor.

14. Kefir (Lifeways Organic Probug Kefir). I usually have two of these/day in place of milk. This is my most favorite food aside from mom’s milk. Dad always has these on hand when mom is out and about.

15. Ice Cream. I love vanilla the best. I call it “Ice.” (I prefer Hagan Daz and even recognize it in the store so don’t try to pass off some cheap ice cream on me; I know better).

16. Two Corn tortilla chips or half a tostada with cheese melted on top. Please break these into small pieces for me. Sometimes I will dip these in hot sauce.

17. The Chex cereal from Chex mix.

18. Nut thins (chip/crackers made from rice and almonds by Blue Diamond).

19. I have eaten a raison or two under close supervision.

20. I will eat a small piece of a cookie (PB, Choc. Chip, sugar) sometimes.

21. Teddy Bear grahams and graham crackers—will eat, but not a favorite.

22. Saltine crackers, in a pinch.

23. I have eaten fresh grapes, pears (canned too), and pineapple, but don’t want to eat them right now. But who knows, that could change, so the parents keep trying.

24. Potato Chips (I mooch these off of my big brother).

25. I once ate part of a grilled cheese sandwich. The moon must have been positioned just right that day.

I drink water (love water), apple juice (diluted or with my multi-vitamin in am) and breast milk (I am pretty darn smart though, and I can tell that my mom is trying to take this away from me–but I plan to fight tooth and nail to keep this most delicious substance in my life).

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6 comments
  1. Nolan was a really picky eater, but we did find out he had the silent reflux. When we have his reflux under reasonable control, he eats well (seriously, he went from eating almost nothing to eating almost everything in a 4-month window after starting the Nexium).

    I’m sure Josh is just a typical picky eater (lots of toddlers are), but has he ever had an issue with reflux? Just wondering, because it can wreak havoc on kids’ appetites and cause major texture aversions.

    There is something called “food chaining.” You can look it up, but it takes a food with a similar texture to one he already accepts, and then you add that food to his list. You can slowly work your way into different textures (or flavors) by chaining… this worked VERY well with Nolan once we got the Nexium going!

  2. motherimperfect said:

    Hmmm. I haven’t considered reflux. That said, when he was a baby and nursing, milk often streamed out through his nose. Every time I told his pediatrician about this (as well as some of his specialists), they would tell me that was likely caused by reflux. So, I guess this would be a potential issue to check out. He has his two-year check up next week. I’ll ask his pediatrician. In the meantime, I will definitely look up the food chaining info. Never heard of it before but sounds like it could help. Thanks!!

  3. Hi stranger. I’ve had great intentions about sending you an email, mostly to say thank you for your thoughtful comments, but I just haven’t found the energy. Just know that I appreciate that you’ve shared your experiences with me. Sometimes, a kind comment on my blog helps me get through the day. Commenting about food seems much easier than delving into my other issues with X.

    Yes, milk streaming out of his nose is definitely reflux. X had such severe reflux as a baby that he was hospitalized for weeks as the pediatric team determined which medications and what dosages. Our pediatrician, who followed him closely at the time (and still does) was shocked at the amount of medication he was prescribed, calling it “industrial strength.” But it worked, along with smaller, more frequent feedings, to quicken his stomach emptying and diminish the pain. It is common for babies with reflux to develop an aversion to eating, or eating certain kinds of foods. Unfortunately, X still has reflux, although it does come and go for seemingly no particular reason. Your son’s diet sounds extremely similar to X’s food preferences at that age, except he can’t chew grapes properly and he refuses peanut butter. Too sticky, I think. Sometimes, now that he is four years old, I can convince him to eat a wee bit of bread, bagel, sandwich, pizza or noodles, but that’s a good day. I can, however, get him to eat sugary carbs, like cake and muffins much of the time. I’ve been using Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook to hide pureed veggies in his sweet treats, scrambled eggs and tuna sandwiches. I also buy the V8 juices that contain fruits and veggies and make high fat smoothies. My kid just cracked the 30 lb. barrier, which he weighed just under for two long years. His pants fall down when he runs. I’m thinking about purchasing a pair of suspenders. He won’t wear a belt, but the fact that fire fighters wear suspenders might persuade him.

    That’s my bit for you. Hope it’s helpful!

    • motherimperfect said:

      Oh, thanks so much for commenting mother of X. I opened this up late on Friday after getting home from the first night of this 10 week (10 weekend actually) yoga intensive that I am taking part in. Yoga always opens my heart to emotions. Anyway, this made me cry for some reason. Maybe it was just the reaching out; being reached out towards. The same thing happened on Saturday, when we went around the circle of about 100 people and said what we were grateful for. I actually referred, out loud, to my “special needs” son turning two. Maybe I’ve never really admitted it to a large group. Yes, he is special needs. I admitted it to myself this week. Something about turning two–hitting that milestone with a slew of delays. Anyway, three woman came up to me afterwards and hugged me and thanked me for sharing. One through her arms around me and said she’d be praying for me. They all have special needs kids of one kind or another.

      Another thing is that your email made such sense. I’d never heard before about reflux creating food aversions–but really, I am almost sure that is what happened here. Josh has his two year check up in a few days and we are going to check out that angle.

      My mom gave Josh a pair of 2T shorts for his birthday and they just fall to his ankles. He is wearing his 18 month shorts from last summer. Suspenders sound like a good option.
      BTW, we moved recently and the lady who lived here b4 us must have been a catalog junkie. Anyway, I got this DSW kids catalog (I think that is what it was) and they had lots of shirts with firefighter-related themes on it. Thought that X might like these.

      Thanks for reaching out. It was more helpful than you know. I hope we get to meet someday.

  4. We were happy when Grace drank Sprite!! She just didn’t drink much at all, and we were glad for any hydration. She’s much better now, but we still need to make sure she gets enough water (which is really the only thing, besides the occasional Sprite, that she will drink).

    • motherimperfect said:

      I am reading The World Peace Diet as a part of my yoga teachers training. Anyway, my my my–I am thinking that water is really the only good option for kids to be drinking (and even then, there is no part of this world anymore where the water isn’t traced with heavy metals). Maybe Grace and Josh are on to something. [Milk, especially mass-produced–but even organic, is really awful stuff].

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