Mealtime Misery

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 by from It All Started with a Meatball

annabella eats

Today we’ll get together with family and enjoy some good times and good food. Well, some of us will. My oldest daughter won’t enjoy any food. She’ll whine and complain and basically act as if I’m asking her to eat monkey brains if I offer her something as exotic as a hamburger.

I have a picky eater. I guess in some way I deserve it, since I myself spent much of my life thinking that I didn’t like various foods based on scent and appearance alone. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with her that I realized the error of my ways and opened up my mind to new foods. Like her mother before her, my daughter spends much of her mealtime with her face scrunched in disgust, refusing to so much as sit near the offending foods.

It wasn’t always like this. Knowing my own history, I introduced a wide variety of foods, hoping to avoid a repeat of my own issues. As a one year old, she happily ate anything on her plate, from black beans and rice to salmon and from edamame to peanut butter sandwiches. But as she grew into a headstrong toddler, her repertoire of foods began to shrink. Foods that were once welcome and loved were refused, accompanied by tears and tantrums.

Now I have a six year old who sometimes seems to exist on air and chocolate milk alone. We’ve fought about food. We’ve ignored her issues. We’ve invited her to cook with us. We’ve asked her to leave the table. We’ve done just about everything I can think of to break the cycle of picky eating. I’ve come to dread meals with her. They are stressful and exhausting. I just want to manage a pleasant family dinner that provides some sort of sustenance for her body and her mind.

Of course I blame myself. I try not to beat myself up. I reason that I have two other children who will happily eat what I give them. They do have their preferences and tastes. Lorelei doesn’t want anything to do with mashed potatoes. Sawyer’s tastes change from month to month. But they eat. So I’m left with Annabella, my skinny, stubborn, and sensitive soul. And I’m still left with questions of what to do.

What do you do? Have you struggled with picky eaters? What has worked for your family? 

What do you think? Mealtime Misery

Sara McTigueEditor

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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4 comments

  1. Avatar of Angela Angela says:

    I have trouble getting my 5 month old to try any mashed veggies/fruits. She spits them out. I hope she will take interest in eating soon.

  2. Avatar of MOMMY MOMMY says:

    IM GOING TO MAKE SURE MY KID EATS HEALTHY UNLIKE MY MOMS HUSBANDS FRIEND WICH GIVES HIS THREE YEAR OLD CANDY FOR BREAKFAST LUNCH AND DINNER BC HE WONT EAT ENYHTING ELSE WICH IS BC HE WAS GIVING HIM ALL THAT JUNK ALL THE TIME HE EVENS GIVES HIM COFFEE AND SODA.

  3. Avatar of Crystal Crystal says:

    I have a 5 year old that lives and chicken nuggets, noodles and choclate. She would eat about anything till she turned 2, then hello picky eater. But the Doctor says she is where she needs to be in weight and all that. So I guess she gets what she needs

  4. Avatar of photocam photocam says:

    I have a 2 year old that is doing the same thing. I’ve tried some of the things you have but no luck. I have also taken a bite or two from his plate and ate it in front of him to show that it’s good, which has worked a few times, then i tried to take his plate and claim it as my own, (he is in the mine stage) so he laughs then takes his plate back and eats it before mommy takes anymore. But i know that doesn’t help you much considering your picky eater is 6. I do thank you though for giving me a possible outcome to what i have in store in the future. Your doing what you can, and being a great mother.

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