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Nov 13 2014

School Lunches Are the Enemy

By at 12:47 pm

School Lunches Are The Enemy

School lunches are my enemy.

Well, not the actual lunches, just the process of making them. You see, my kids go to a Jewish Day School, which means that their lunches must either be parve or dairy. I have no problem with that, as we keep kosher and therefore won’t make the mistake of accidentally sending in shellfish or a ham sandwich. Rather, the issue I have with lunches is that my kids constantly tell me how they no longer eat this or no longer like that. They change their minds as often as a new parent changes a diaper.

My kids eat perfectly well at dinner time, despite sometimes saying that they don’t like something my husband or I are serving. But lunch is a different story. Things that they would normally eat at home or even order in a restaurant are somehow off-limits when they come out of a lunchbox. I don’t get it. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 27 2014

Eight Secrets for Getting Your Kids to Eat Everything

By at 9:58 am

vegetables at the market

Last year, my daughter Julian and I stopped in front of a vegetable stand at our local farmers’ market. Without even pausing to consider what it would taste like uncooked, my 5-year-old grabbed a piece of raw okra and popped it into her mouth. Moments later, she pronounced it “crunchy and wet” and started filling our bag with handfuls of the green vegetable.

The mom standing next to us gasped, pulled at my shirtsleeve, and desperately insisted I tell her my “secret” for getting my kids to “eat healthy.” To her great disappointment, I explained I didn’t have a secret. Julian recommended she start with the okra and we parted ways.

Each time I’m at the market I hope I run into that mom again because I have since come up with a better answer. Here are my eight not-so-secret rules to get your kids to eat everything:

Rule #1: Let Your Kids Taste Anything Someone Hands Them Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 30 2014

Adam Mansbach Takes On Your F**king Picky Eater

By at 4:57 pm

Mansbach-eattttttt

No effort is more futile or maddening than trying to persuade a picky eater that food is necessary to survive.

The best-selling author of the refreshingly blunt children’s book titled “Go the F**k to Sleep” understands that pain more than you know.  Adam Masbach is back with a long-awaited sequel, “You Have to F**king Eat,” published by indie publishing house, Akashic Books.

Despite the naughty language, in 2011, Mansbach’s debut topped The New York Times bestseller list, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. When inimitable Samuel L. Jackson did a dramatic narration of the book for Audible, “Go the F**k to Sleep” quickly became a viral sensation. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 26 2014

Four Surprising Things Happened to Me When I Became Working Mother

By at 10:19 am

banana-muffins

I hate the phrase “Working Mom.” I was home with my daughters for almost three years, and I promise, that was work too. But it is a different kind of challenge than working in a paid profession. I returned to my job as a guidance counselor this past September, and it’s been an interesting few months. (Read: It’s slightly insane. Moms of many and single mothers, I salute you.) But I confess, I’m doing things that I never thought I would:

1. I make three dinners.

My husband is a picky eater. Each night, my mother-in-law would come home from work and cater to her son’s “discriminating” tastes by cooking a separate meal. “Not me,” I swore. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 8 2013

My Kid Won’t Eat Veggies, But I’m Not to Blame

By at 9:49 am

shutterstock_126710522

When my daughter started eating solid foods, we did exactly as the pediatrician said. Start with rice cereal, then move to fruits and vegetables that are yellow & orange, then to fruits and vegetables that are green, purple, and red. My daughter liked to eat and I never really thought more about it. As she grew older, she grew pickier. She moved from eating most things to only eating some things to only eating a few things: macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, bagels (with butter, no cream cheese), grilled cheese, and a pretty good variety of fruit. But NO VEGETABLES.

No vegetables. Not one, not ever. When she was 2 1/2, we went to a friend’s house, who just happens to be a professional chef, and she served purple and orange carrots, roasted vegetables, and meatloaf with veggies hidden inside. My daughter picked at the meatloaf, but that was it. At 3 years old, I hosted a dinner play date for a bunch of friends. We made ravioli, edamame, and steamed carrots. My daughter refused the carrots, only tried the edamame because we called them magic beans while singing a song from Yo Gabba Gabba about trying new foods, and she even hated the ravioli, which is cheese and pasta–the same as macaroni and cheese–but I guess it’s not, to her. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 31 2013

I’m So Tired of “What Are We Having for Dinner?”

By at 3:38 pm

angry kid at dinner with carrotsAs my children trickle home from school and their tummies begin to rumble, I can hear the question before it even begins to leave their mouths. With authority that they think is their birthright, they ask me, “What are we having for dinner?”

Oh, how I have grown to strongly dislike this inquiry. When the question begins to form, it is not just on the lips of one child but the lips of four little mouths whining in unison. It’s a rhetorical question for sure and experience has taught me that there is no correct answer that will satisfy all eight ears. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 24 2012

News Roundup: Lie-Detector Tests for Nannies, Bulletproof Backpacks for Kids

By at 4:01 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

Nanny Interviews Get More Aggressive. They now sometimes involve lie-detector tests and private investigators. [Insert nanny-state joke here.] (Wall Street Journal)

-The Ultimate Amenity: Grandparents. Some families are choosing to buy or rent apartments for their parents so that grandparents can be nearby. (NY Times)

-Since Newtown Shooting Sales of Kids’ Bulletproof Backpacks Soar. No surprise that lots of parents are snapping these up (they’re $200-$500). (Washington Post)

-Why Is My Kid Such A Picky Eater? Here are some ways to help get around your child’s aversion to leafy greens and anything that isn’t light brown. (Slate)

Apr 27 2011

My Picky Eater Loved Passover

By at 11:23 am

Who knew a picky eater would love parsley so much?

I’ve come to realize that Passover is a lot like pregnancy in that you are so excited at the beginning and so nauseatingly OVER IT by the end. I’ve eaten my weight in french fries this week and my husband came home from work each night with heroic stories of how he narrowly escaped the stacks of Easter cookies, cake, and brownies being flaunted in his face. He texted me yesterday saying, “Tonight after we say some Baruch Atah Adonai, can we eat real food?” This man is going to owe me some serious sexy time when he finds out that I bought back some Girl Scout Tagalongs. The only person in our house sad to see the sun set on the eigth day of Passover is our 14 month old son.

Last year, he was a fresh baked meatloaf and spent Passover sleeping, eating, and pooping. Now, he points to farm animals and blows snot bubbles, so I didn’t expect much in the way of observance from him this year either. Breastmilk and sweet potatoes were still on the menu so my picky eater was none the wiser. I figured I’d offer, as I always do, whatever we’re eating and do my best to hide my horrified-Mama-face when he refuses or spits out whatever he’s chewing with a dramatic tongue thrust. Because honeslty, what toddler doesn’t like bananas or macaroni and cheese!? Mine.

During first seder he sat quietly and chewed on salty parsley for AN HOUR. My husband told him that matzah was a “cookie” and his little eyes lit up. In retrospect it seems more like a cruel joke, but my kid asked for “cookies” all week. Cookies with butter. Cookies with jelly. Cookie lasagna. He ate spoonfuls of charoset and picked up tiny pieces of chicken while announcing “chicken!” with each bite. He squeezed the spongy pieces of matzah ball between his little fingers before popping them in his mouth AND SWALLOWNG THEM!

We traveled four hours to celebrate second seder at our home temple. My son ate so much during dinner that he barfed a stomach full of Pesach goodies down my cleavage in front of over 100 people (later my Rabbi commented that the dramatic vomiting act was most likely a ploy to build material for me to blog about here. Busted, right?) I sat on the floor in a pile of puke holding my whimpering boy as the, “next year in Jerusalem” prayers were said and Jewish mamas whirled around me with napkins and sympathetic looks. Me?  I was just happy he ate. He threw up more food than he’s eaten in a month. Perhaps he is turning a corner.

I made a Moroccan potato-egg casserole that my husband graciously gagged on while my son cleaned his plate. The same kid that won’t eat rice scarfed down two of the quinoa burgers I made with a recipe courtesy of Mayim Bialik (which should have included a diaper warning about feeding babies red quinoa). And each night for dessert he enjoyed an entire almond Butter and Jelly sandwhich, which actually was by definition, a cookie.

I’ve spent the past year of his life struggling to get him to eat solid food and this Passover I sat back in amazement as he gobbled down whatever I put in front of him. For us, this week was different than all other weeks. It was a Passover I’ll always remember. The one where my son filled my bra his tummy with slightly palatable Pesach treats and lots, and lots of “cookies”.

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