God is the madwoman in the attic.
I'm camped out on the threshold with my journal, camera, and plenty of snacks.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


One of our first indications that Little N needed some extra help developed out of his relationship with food. Around 2 years old, he started refusing things that he used to eat.  Strawberries, chopped chicken, raviolis... The list went on until we were down to 3 foods: yogurt, applesauce, and pasta with green bean baby food.  It was over a year before we were able to add bread and that's where we've pretty much stuck.

Little N's regular meal

We've added multivitamin drops to his applesauce.  He drinks whole milk all day long.  And the pasta is a special brand made with lentils and other good stuff.  He's growing fine, even has a little belly, and folks regularly comment on how big he is for his age.  In fact, if we hadn't brought it up, his pediatrician would have never suspected any issues.  He hits all the right marks for his growth and health.  Even better - the kid doesn't get sick!

"this is for N" he informs me

Still, you can't live on yogurt and baby food forever.  So we keep placing new items in front of him to invite and encourage him out of this food jag.  In recent months we're enjoying his curiosity about food.  He likes to taste salad dressing, salsa, apple slices, pizza sauce, and the new favorite ~ the foam on mommy's soy chai latte! 

mmm mmm good!
It makes for a sweet little outing.  We walk over to the grocery store and pick out a couple yogurts for him first.  Then it's on to the coffee shop for chai.  Even before we're seated he starts asking me to "open please" and as I place heaping fluffy scoops of foam into the lid he's right there with "more please!"  It started as one little index finger dipped cautiously into my cup.  Now he's shoveling in loads of the stuff!  And peering into my cup for more and even sips of the chai!

I understand, tasting mommy's chai isn't going to solve our food issues.  But!  I whole-heartedly take it as encouragement that he's interested in new foods, he's finding the flavors that he likes, and food is part of positive, fun experiences with mommy (& daddy). 

It's a long, baby-stepping, painstaking process - to get a kid to eat.  You can't force it or food becomes a power struggle.  I want him to have control of what he eats and to feel comfortable with food.  I want him to understand when he's hungry and full, and what is healthy and yummy.   When I think of it, I try to log what he's doing with food - touching, smelling, tasting, helping to prepare, pretending to cook - and so far the evidence just says he's curious, he's becoming more comfortable in little bitty steps forward.  So I exhale, a little bit, and try to trust that he'll get to a place of eating more flavors and textures in his own good time.

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