Monday, January 9, 2012

Day #3

Friday was Day #3 of trying to get our picky eater to eat something (anything!) new.  I sent all "new" foods to challenge her palate in her lunch box except for a banana, which she never refuses.  Jennifer, our sitter, tried them all but the only food Anna ate that whole day was the banana.  That night I kept her busy with Elmo videos and toys and kept trying the peanut butter and fluff sandwich that she refused at lunch.  Still couldn't get her to eat.  And this was after going to bed hungry two nights in a row and barely eating all day.  I think she would starve herself rather than give in!  Eric called in from the barn to ask what was for dinner and suggested that we just eat pancakes.  I agreed because I knew at that point that we had to re-evaluate this plan.

I ordered "The No Cry Solution to Picky Eating" on my kindle (LOVE MY KINDLE!) and started reading before making our pancake dinner.  The author reassured me that picky eating is normal, especially from 12 months on.  It has caused parents endless stress for many years, and there are a lot of techniques out there to deal with it.  Pantley suggests not to overly stress over every meal, to try something new each time you feed your child, and to make meal-time more fun and engaging.  There are "sneaky chef" recipes that I doubt that I will try in case all else fails.  I decided after  doing some reading that I'll continue to try to introduce new foods, but not while restricting her intake.  Meaning, every meal will feature new foods, but there will be something that she WILL eat with it.  Pantley says that a picky eater might refuse a new food 10-15 times before finally trying it.  What I was expecting of her might not have been totally realistic.  And there is no overnight or one-week solution to picky eating. 

So Friday night, as  we sat at the dinner table eating our pancakes, I reflected on this whole tribulation.  I realized that as long as I am a parent, I will face challenges like this one.  I also realized that I have to listen to my heart and if a plan of attack is not working, I then need to re-evaluate.  Since beginning my journey as a mother, I think I've learned more from my daughter than she's learned from me.  And I think that is a neat part of parenting.

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