Oliver Parenthood

Picky, Picky

So just when it appears we have this parenting thing figured out, something happens that throws us for a little bit of a loop.  And from what I understand, that’s pretty much to be expected with this parenting gig for the rest of our lives, we’ll never get it completely figured out.  This latest snag has been one of the more frustrating ones though.  Our good little eater has suddenly become extremely picky.

I tried really hard not to brag about what a good eater he was, I knew we were lucky.  People kept trying to warn us and say things like “oh you just wait.  You just wait.”  I hate the phrase “you just wait.”  I have tried to not use that on any other parents because I know how annoying it is.  And I wasn’t so naive to say that he would never be a picky eater, I just kept counting my blessings that he wasn’t.

I’m not quite sure when it happened.  It has seemed to be a gradual shift over the summer.  I think a lot of it is related to his cutting his two year molars and finding some foods just don’t feel good in his mouth sometimes.  I think another part of it though is he is realizing he has an opinion and a voice and can exercise that opinion and voice.  We’re just finding he isn’t even willing to try things anymore and even some foods he once loved he turns his nose up at.  The most frustrating meal of the day right now seems to be dinner.  Last night it took us until about a half hour before bedtime to finally coax him to eat an egg, which he at least devoured happily.

We did some reading and talked about it and we’re just going to take this a day at a time and will just exercise a lot of patience  From what we read, we shouldn’t be forcing the issue real hard and should offer foods we know he likes, but try not to give in too much to his demands for certain things.  When possible we should give him a choice.  And we should not be overly concerned with variety, if he loves chicken fingers at lunchtime, we can still offer chicken at dinner too.  Like everything else in toddlerhood, it’s a phase and it’s one we’ll just have to exercise a lot of patience with.  And maybe once those darn teeth come in it will get better.  We can certainly hope for it!


His favorite meal is definitely breakfast. 20 months going on 20 years.

If you’ve been through this before with your kids I’d love to know what worked for you!  And if you’re currently in the thick of mealtime battles, well you have my sympathies and we’ll get through it!  One day at a time!  I was a pretty picky eater as a child too and I turned out just fine and have a love of MANY foods as an adult, so I’m pretty sure he’ll be ok if he turns out to be like me!

10 thoughts on “Picky, Picky

  1. I know how you feel (and I also HATE when other parents say "just you wait" because I can tell you that every kid is totally different so they probably don't even know what they are talking about). Kaden was my picky eater and Reilly seems kind of picky too. I think you guys are doing the right thing. From everything that I remember reading at that time was the same–offer healthy foods, give them some of what they like but don't give in to their demands, and don't force them to eat. You're doing it right. He'll come out of it. If I can get my husband (aka the pickiest eater I have ever met in my life) to do vegetarian for 8 months and clean eating for 30 days, you can do this with little Ollie! Patience is all that it's about. And sticking to your guns.

  2. You had me a bit paranoid this morning after reading this… C was suddenly refusing to eat her smoothie (which she usually LOVES). I wasn't until I made her some toast and went to pour her smoothie into mine that I realized a chunk of strawberry had clogged her straw. Phew — avoided the picky eating trend for another meal. C comes from a long line of picky eaters (Scott's family has ridiculous opinions on food, but will eat the weirdest and grossest flavours of potato chips), and I'm certainly not very adventurous, so I have no doubt the day will come when we eat chicken fingers for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.

  3. Do you read "a healthy slice" of life? She posts great munchkin linkups every now and then (I'm sure there's a schedule, i just don't know it) and there's lots of good ideas there!

  4. Welcome to the club. It's interesting because my son is a picky eater–I call him a whitebreaditarian. My daughter, on the other hand, is pretty good about eating anything. I try the keep-offering-not-making-a-big-deal-out-of-it thing with my son, but it's frustrating.

  5. My sympathy for you runs deep, especially since I haven't a clue on what to suggest. This is one of those impossible situations you just have to struggle through. I suspect a good bit of it has to do with what you mention: Ollie realizing he can assert himself. Good for him; bad for you. 🙂

  6. Oh girl. I FEEL you. I feel like I'm waist-deep in the picky eating struggle and I wish I had advice or words of wisdom, but I don't. I really try not to let it stress me out, but that's really hard to do. Here's hoping that these picky boys don't stay picky forever!

  7. that's the best advice i have–it's just a phase. it seems like you are doing everything that feels right and that's all that matters! best of luck that this phase ends soon!!

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