Going Gluten-FreeApril 16, 2013

Handling a Picky Eater

Comments (1)

Posted by Living Without special projects editor Laurel Greene

Driving with my sister one morning, her 2-year-old daughter excitedly began pointing to her favorite fast-food chain. “She was born with a milkshake straw in her mouth,” my sister quipped. It got me thinking about the so-called foods that kids love to eat these days.

It also brought to mind a recent conversation I had with another mom. She said her young son would “only eat white stuff and pizza.” He would insist, “Nothing green!” “Not exactly a balanced diet,” I commented. The mom shrugged. I could only think that she was making things “easier” for herself now but much harder down the road. And harder for her son, whose lack of dietary adventure put him at risk for nutritional deprivation, not to mention malnutrition.

Her attitude contrasted greatly with the way another mom handled the issue with her son. He did not want to eat the gluten-free, dairy-free diet the family had adopted on his behalf. Holding the line, she put the same gluten-free, dairy-free food the family ate on her son’s plate. He refused to eat...so she excused him from the table. (No snacks later.) The next meal, the same thing. The next and the next. Mom and dad fretted…but waited. For two days, there was a food strike. Finally, on the third day, their son sat down and ate with the family.

“Short-term pain, long-term gain,” explained the mom, tremendously relieved.

Could you bear it if your child went on a food strike? How would you handle a young child who wouldn’t eat a food or food group?


Comments (1)

My parents didn't wait for allergy/nutrition problems to show up; they started out, as soon as Little Sister and I went to "real" food, with, "That's what's for dinner. I'm sorry you don't like it." Dad would occasionally go further: "Your mother cooked dinner for you because she loves you; she could be making you eat garbage from (insert name of un-favorite burger-purveyor here)." No fuss, no upset or raised voices, just a statement of fact. The one exception to this was creamed kidneys on toast; for some reason we were let off that.
Not that our tastes were never consulted - there was lots of food that we DID like - but we learned to take tasting bites, pretty early. There are things, such as liver, that I will never eat again, but in general, their approach worked; neither of us has any eating problems and we will, mostly, try most new foods.

Posted by: Sandy D | April 18, 2013 2:44 PM    Report this comment

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