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Friday, March 24, 2006

Fear of Unknown Food

When LatteGirl was a baby, she was not a fussy eater. She ate EVERYTHING we gave her, vegetables, fruits, meat, virtually anything.

Well around the time she went to "toddler food" she started getting a bit fussy. Alright, honestly she became a royal pain in the ass. For lunch at Pre-School, the only thing we could get her to eat was the Gerber Graduates Pasta Pickups. But we always figured she would outgrow this phase. After all she likes (liked) all kinds of different things. Even fruits that are not typically small child friendly since they can be bitter (such as Strawberries and Pinapple).

As time has worn on however, we seem to be making such little progress. Her diet basically consists of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for lunch 7 days a week, and either PERDUE FUN SHAPES Breaded Dinosaur Chicken Breast Nuggets and carrots(We were NOT going to let her eat the fried fast food version... at least not a majority of the time), or Pizza. She still snacks on fruits and yogurt, and of course has learned to love Chocolate Ice Cream (when she was little she would only eat vanilla), Nacho Chips, and the typical junk fare that kids crave and parents despise.

But trying to get her to expand her menu is downright impossible. It is not that she doesn't like things. If she would try them, and say "yuck" well then OK, we try something else. But she outright refuses to even try. Any effort to try and persuade her more than merely asking, involves tears... or worse (I have mentioned that she has this unique ability to vomit seeming on command right?). After a bit of pushing, once or twice we got her to put something in her mouth with the understanding that if she didn't like it, she of course didn't have to eat it. But that went about as well as one might expect. She would start to (pretend) to try it, but would already be shaking her head 'NO' and the very same instant it hit her tongue, it was already on its way out of her mouth and into her napkin.

It is really quite frustrating trying to find a way to get her to expand. Even some tricks that have gotten her exposed to a few new things, that seem like they should open the door do not. That didn't make much sense did it? Well let me give an example. She likes Pizza. Every couple of weeks or so, we make homemade pizza (OK, I cheat, I admit it, we buy the Pizza Dough at the Supermarket). Well, on one occassion, I got her to try the sauce on the spoon after we had made the pizza. She loved it. Super, "Since you like the sauce, perhaps you could try it on some pasta." Nope no go. OK, so we try a similar tact with the cheese. She likes the cheese. So I bought her some string cheese. Nope, she will eat the shredded mozeralla from the bag (but only if we are making pizza), but will not even TASTE the string cheese.

I know it is in there. She is just so damned stubborn (sure THAT she had to inherit from me) and frozen with FEAR over this. We have never PUSHED her hard to try new things, as I just don't think the old, "You eat what I put in front of you" thing is the answer. I just don't know what else to try.

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