Sunday, December 02, 2007

To Cater or Not to Cater?

Ok guys. I need your assvice again. This parenting thing is tough work and so I once again and calling on the collective wisdom of all of you in blogger land.

Zack is becoming picky. Like REALLY picky. I don't know if his ears are bothering him, his teeth are bothering him or he has just decided that it is really fun to drive mommy over the edge but really, I'm not sure I can continue like this.

All weekend it has been nothing but hitting the spoon causing the food to fly across the kitchen and then screaming. Oh heaven help me the screaming.....

However, put the tray on the highchair and give him a few goldfish and he is all over it. Honestly, I thought this phase came when he was like two. He's not even one yet!!

So here's my question... what the hell do I do?? He's only 11 months. Isn't that too young to play the if you don't eat it you can go hungry game? However, it's not like he's doing this with unfamiliar foods. It is really all types of foods. Today he refused Mac & Cheese which he ate at my mom's and loved. Then for dinner he refused Ravioli which he had eaten last week and loved.

I got so frustrated I just put the mac & Cheese on his tray thinking maybe he just wanted to do it himself. This resulted in much mess and not much eating. Let's just say there was a bath involved.

So please... what do I do? Do I keep just giving him whatever he will eat or is he old enough to "go to bed hungry?" I don't want to end up being a short order cook to an 11 month old but at the same time I don't want to leave him hungry if he's not going to learn a lesson from it.

As always thank you in advance and feel free to comment anonymously if you think your opinion may cause controversy and you don't want to be "picked on."


Anonymous said...

Do you take a bite and say, Yummy! and eat it. When he wouldn't eat the fish the other night and kept spitting it out and tossing everything on the tray on the floor, I took a piece showed it to him then stuck it in my mouth and with a big smile I said Yummy!! Mmmm!! He then started to scarf down the equivalent of 3 fish sticks.


Heather said...

We have tried that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. They say that he usually eats really well at daycare which I've been told is not usually the norm, that usually they eat better at home.

So... I'm stumped. He ate a great breakfast both days this weekend but didn't really want lunch or dinner. (Unless of course he had goldfish. He will make entire meals out of goldfish.)

Anonymous said...

I think he's too young to go to bed with nothing. Until you can tell him and he will comprehend WHY he goes to bed with nothing that won't work. I'm told I was the pickiest of eaters. I asked my mom what she did for me, and she said she'd sit down with whatever my supper was, do the 'yum' thing, but not offer it to me while she pretended to eat it, then i'd beg and beg for it then eat it all! Not sure if that works for everyone but it's worth a shot!

lonna said...

At 11 months, the bulk of his nutrition should still be coming from his formula. Food at this age is still practice and extra to formula until after 12 months. At this age the best advice is to have something that he likes at every meal. If he can at least focus on one thing, that's better than no thing. I would also say that it's better to look at his nutritional intake over the whole day. He may not really be that hungry at dinner. For the last two years my son (18 months to 46 months) my son has eaten a lot better at daycare than at home. We used to worry about his not eating at home, but then we figured out what he was eating at day care, he was fine.

DD said...

We found that our son ate better at daycare because everyone was eating the same thing. If you serve macncheese, are you eating it, too?

Let him try some of your food along with whatever you serve for him. Variety.

Also, at that age, they don't overeat. So if he doesn't eat, it generally means he's not hungry.

Anonymous said...

I say don't cater...once you start you will never stop and catering Zack to your version of eating could be unhealthy. No - Cheeto's for supper and Mt. Dew and chocolate for breakfast are not healthy for an 11 month old. :)
I disagree with catering to your children however if it were Jake catering then it may be a little different because he eats anything and everything meaning Zack would get a variation in nutrition.

Kbreints said...

It is not called catering to your children when they are 11 months. It is called getting them to eat. Henry, I no longer "cater too" meaning that I don't give him whatever he wants, but I do play little games to get him to eat. However with Sam, they are just starting to have opinions. One day he may like green beans, the next it is a "no go"-- just keep at it. I know it is frusterating. You said that you have done this before-- maybe he is not ready to eat when you are ready to feed him. So walk a way for a minute-- put him down to play.... than come back to it a few minutes later. He is fine to have goldfish over greenbeans one night if that is going to keep mom sane. You don't have to worry about behavior (sp?) issues until about 2 - 2 1/2--

Bottom line- give yourself a break.. you are doing fine! Always use your gut as a mom... it is right.

Anonymous said...

I am all about family dinners at that age. Everyone eats the same thing, everyone eats at the same time, everyone eats at the same place. You would be amazed how well that works. Guess that is Lindsay's comment about they will eat it if they see you eat it.

Erin said...

At that age, previous posters were right that his nutrition comes from formula and food is basically just fun. When P got picky, we stopped doing separate dinners and just made enough for all of us. If he asked for some of what we were eating, we would give it to him. If not, that was fine (since his nutrition came from nursing). But we let him be in charge of whether he wanted it or not. There was a lot less food-throwing in those cases, and he has a pretty good palate now!