Two silly eaters 3

One of our favorite books is The Seven Silly Eaters  written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Marla Frazee. (Marla Frazee is one of my favorite illustrators.) In the story, the Peters family has a child who only like a certain food. Then another comes along and the second likes something totally different. The mother ends up with seven kids who all eat different foods and the chaos that ensues.

Hits a little close to home. Actually, Nick is a pretty decent eater. He likes sushi, dabbles in quite a few vegetables, prefers bacon and chicken to just about anything else, but refuses to eat eggs.

Maggie, on the other hand, refuses a lot. For a long time she didn’t eat anything red. We are over the red phase now, and when I made spaghetti and meatballs last night she ran up to me and hugged me instead of crying. She has just started to eat a little raw spinach, but only on odd days. Carrots are OK sometimes, but depends on the weather. Peanut butter and jelly, oh she eats about 5-6 of those a week. Cereal, oatmeal and eggs finish out another 3-4 meals. Her personal favorite right now is corn dogs. (wretch) The other day I tried to get her to try a (jarred dole, not fresh) piece of papaya she recoiled. Then she finally tried and now she loves papaya, “It’s my favorite fruit!” (We’re not going to comment on the fact that it’s jarred papaya and she would likely recoil from a fresh papaya the same was she does fresh peaches and oranges.) I slipped a piece of pineapple in her dish to see if I might get one past her lips.

“You can’t fool me!” she declared, casting the pineapple aside. It was all I could do to keep from blurting out that the corn dogs I have recently bought and she has recently starting consuming with vigor are veggie corn dogs. Ha. I win. This teeny tiny battle.

But the dinnertime battle – the showdown of mom vs child – veggies still on the plate, dessert lurking like a bribe hanging in the air. Do you do this? Do you make them try. Do you make them eat a certain amount? Maggie has taken to putting veggies in her mouth and gagging. At the table. While I’m trying to eat. OMG. They are real gags. She’s not pretending, and she is dramatic. So I tell her to go spit it out and try not to gag myself.

What do you do? I’m curious.

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3 thoughts on “Two silly eaters

  • Michelle Smiles

    We are not a fair household. Sabrina (my 5 yr old) will try most things if we make her. She doesn’t like most of them but will eat a small amount if we tell her she has to in order to earn a tv program after dinner. Tessa (my 3 yr old) has always had some food issues. And likes very little. If we make her try something that she really doesn’t like, she will start to gag at the table. Steve tested this recently with mashed potatoes (what child doesn’t like those) and she threw up on her plate. At the table. Took everything in me not to follow suit. So if she starts gagging we all start yelling “spit it out! spit it out!”. She wins most of those battles. And eats almost nothing that resembles a vegetable. I don’t know how to win with her so we continue to be unfair and make Sabrina eat things while Tessa doesn’t have to. Some day Sabrina will call us on it and we will have to figure something out.

  • Sara

    So my 11 year old daughter didn’t eat any red meat of any kind (nor any fresh or canned fruit, or any veggies EXCEPT green beans out of a can dipped in ketchup (YIKES!)!!) for probably 3+ years. In fact, I was really to the point of just giving up. I tried to get her to dip (in ANYTHING)…I tried raw, cooked, mixed into, cheese drenched, etc. So, mentally, honestly, I “checked out”. I took her to the doctor, she is healthy, so I was getting over it. Except, I wasn’t.
    The whole thing came to a head when she was having such bad stomachaches that she was crying in bed because she wasn’t moving anything thru her system. She takes fiber gummies now (they are AMAZING), and she understands she needs to have something every day–she will now have a little lettuce salad, a piece (or two) of broccoli (but not the “tree part”), and applesauce. She is eating red meat too occasionally, but not ground beef. I guess after all this rambling, my advice is to just put a bit on the plate and be good with one bite. I remember when mine were babies and the doctors said just tablespoons of food were enough for them, so I try to give them good choices for snacks (yogurt, cheese). Other than that, I would say “good luck”. It WILL get (a bit) better–although I do have a cousin in college who ONLY eats pb&j, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets! ;P