It’s just bad policy. Because I’ve discovered that whatever you are smug about will eventually become your problem.
I never understood picky eaters. I thought if a child was being picky, the best policy was to just ignore it. Keep providing a balanced diet, and the kid will eventually eat. A child won’t willingly starve. There’s no reason to provide a special meal for a child, or to rush to provide supplements and vitamins. It’s indulgent and teaching the child that they have every right to demand that their parents dance to their every whim.
So why was I up peeling potatoes last night to make a single serving of mashed potatoes for Jessie?
Because. That’s why. Because I was an idiot, and smug, and then I realized that my daughter, who’s always been very slender, is getting skinnier and skinnier. And when I don’t have stuff for her to eat, she’ll just not eat. There’s a very small list of items that she’ll eat, and an even smaller list of healthy food that she’ll eat and enjoy. Chicken, tuna fish, some breakfast cereals. She won’t eat bread, or yogurt, or cheese. She’ll eat green beans, occasionally broccoli. Loves mashed potatoes. And will eat ice cream, cake or cookies like they’re manna from heaven. Beans and hot dogs. White rice. Apples and peanut butter. I think the point was driven home for me this past week, because she was with me for every meal. And on several occasions, she’d end up skipping a meal because she didn’t like what was offered. We’d go to an aunt’s house (I’ve got a lot of aunts, and we visited several this week) and she’d easily go all day without eating. Because they offered perfectly reasonable food, food everyone else ate happily, but Jess didn’t like it.
So today I’m going out to buy multivitamins. Which I’ve never done before, because my kids are good eaters. My kids love fruit and vegetables, eat a healthy diet and had no need for supplements. Because I was a good mom. See how smug I was? Now the only one who actually eats well is my toddler. Sam eats more than Jessie does, but he’s dancing ever closer to the picky, picky stage, especially as he can see that Jessie is so finicky.
I’m not sure how to handle this picky stage. I really don’t want to cater to her dietary whims, but seriously – she’ll just skip a meal, or two. And it doesn’t seem to bother her, and she’s skinny, skinny, skinny. The doctor has always assured me that she’s super healthy, and not to worry, but she’s never been this picky before. I’m going with vitamins and trying harder to make sure that I always have at least one thing at every meal that I know she’ll like. And hope that this, like so many other stages, passes quickly.