Posts Tagged ‘ Mr. Picky ’

The Most Surprising Thing My Toddler Ate This Week

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Best for Babies 8+ Months

Mason hasn’t exactly been an adventurous eater this week–until this morning, that is. He’s been playing it safe with oatmeal, brown rice, ground beef, pineapple, mac ‘n’ cheese–you get the picture. I tried to get a little fancy Wednesday night when I served him Tuscan beans with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and grilled shrimp for dinner, but there was something about the texture of the beans that he didn’t like and after shoving them into his mouth by the handful, he chewed them up, and spit them all back out in my hand. Instead he opted for a disappointing meal of organic mac ‘n’ cheese with apple-cinnamon sticks.  (I offer him alternatives when he rejects a meal only because his weigh-in is in two weeks!) Feeling defeated, I texted my hubby. I want him to have an eclectic palette but he prefers diner food! Chris replied, “He’s 1, sweetheart.” I’m sure he was tempted to add “Get a grip!” but he kindly held back.

This morning Mason was playing in the cupboards while I was fixing his bottle and he unearthed a canister of organic kale, broccoli, and cheddar puffs that I had totally forgotten about. He had a blast playing with the canister. Why not give him a bite of what’s inside? I didn’t have high hopes, I was sure he would have a problem with both the texture and color of the puffs. But he put a puff in his mouth, chewed, swallowed, smiled, and reached for another puff and then another. I was shocked but thrilled that he was embracing these wonderful flavors. So I fixed him a bowl of puffs, which he enjoyed while watching the Today Show. The scene was so funny I had to capture it on my iPhone. Bug looked so serious while he watched TV, which he rarely pays attention to, and munched on his pre-breakfast snack! And luckily the snack didn’t ruin his breakfast. He had organic cheddar cheese, a brown-rice raisin bagel with reduced-fat cream cheese, and milk at home and was digging into organic strawberry oatmeal when I left him at school this morning. In his teacher’s words, “Mason can eat.”

Has your toddler eaten anything this week that’s surprised you?

Add a Comment

Picky Eater Solution #3: A Buddy + A New Scene

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Today we met up with another LIC Mama Kerry, her 15-month-old son Sal, and her husband Mike. Our mission: Go visit Santa Claus. I’ve been looking forward to this moment all season long. Last year Mason loved Santa Claus — he wasn’t scared at all and he was mesmerized by Santa’s curly, white beard — so I was really curious to see how he would  react to Santa this year. Instead of going to a crowded mall, we met up at a local community center that was hosting a Christmas party for the neighborhood. The scene was absolutely crazy, with people wall to wall and kids running around everywhere, but I did get a photo of Mason sitting on Santa’s lap. I had to sit next to Bug so that he would stay on Santa’s lap but at least he looked at the camera, even though he didn’t feel like smiling. The six of us left after the boys posed for pics on Santa’s lap and we headed out for brunch — a meal that turned out to be the highlight of our afternoon.

We ended up at a new restaurant in our neighborhood called Alobar. Chris and I dined there last night alone, and we loved the place. We had no idea how they’d be with kids, but we were starving, there wasn’t a line, and the brunch menu looked great, so we went for it.  Truth is, we couldn’t have picked a better place. The hostess set us up with high chairs right away, and we were able to place an order for the boys to share (a short stack of pancakes topped with spiced fruit) pretty quickly. A short time later the manager appeared at our table with carrot puree for the boys “in case they couldn’t wait for their meal,” and two kid-size spoons. I was speechless. We eat out all the time with Mason and nobody has ever done something so thoughtful for us. There was also no shortage of friendly servers who stopped by to talk to the boys or pick up the toy cars they kept dropping, er, throwing on the floor. The pancakes arrived and the boys dug in (that’s Mason’s little hand reaching for more, left). Mason loved eating with his little friend Sal and the pancakes were apparently awesome according to Mike and Chris. The boys were super cute with each other, and they shared their food and milk . They were so happy together, and entertained each other so well, that we parents got to enjoy our food and even chat a bit (when does that ever happen?!). If you live in NYC, I definitely recommend checking this place out.

After our meal, we stepped back out into the brisk afternoon. It was already 4 and we were planning on taking Bug home and then Chris was going to go back out and pick up our Christmas tree. We parted ways with Kerry and Sal and Mike a few blocks down the road, then hopped on the subway to go back home. We normally walk, especially after eating a big meal, but it is freezing out. Mason deigned to nap so we played ball while Chris got our tree! We’re going to decorate it tonight and gate it off so that Mason can’t pull it over on himself (hopefully he doesn’t figure out how to climb over the gate!). Today was the perfect Christmastime Sunday. Here’s to hoping there are more to come in the weeks leading up to the holiday:)

Have you noticed that your kids eat better when they’re with a friend and/or in a new place?

Add a Comment

Picky Eater Solution #2: A Healthy Bite That Looks (& Tastes) Like a Treat

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Best for Babies 10+ Months

The last three months have been filled with eating ups and downs. My champion eater suddenly turned picky after his first birthday, which is completely normal according to Dr. Bob Sears, and mealtime hasn’t been the same since. Based on Dr. Sears’ advice, I started to make finger food “buffets” for Mason to give him several choices in an effort to help combat his pickiness, with mixed results. Next came the (ongoing) food-throwing phase (more to come). But the thing that surprises me the most, still, is that Mason can love something one day but absolutely loathe it the next. For example, over the weekend, Bug couldn’t get enough of avocado mashed with banana; he ate five servings of it in two days. I offered it to him Monday and he shrieked in horror — and kept shrieking until I got it out of his sight. Well, excuse me.

Determined to roll with the trials and triumphs of feeding a 1-year-old, I’ve adopted the mindset that Bug will eat when he’s hungry, and I’ve tried not to stress. Then Mason had his 15-month check-up last week, a h-llish ordeal, and I’ve been forced to change that Zen-like mindset. Bug’s pediatrician told me that I need to do “everything in my power” to help Mason put on some extra pounds. It wasn’t the first time his string bean-like physique has come up at the doctor’s office, but this time Mason has to be weighed in 5 weeks to track his progress. Apparently he’s meeting all of his developmental milestones, however, the doctor is concerned that he’ll fall too far away from the weight curve. So my new challenge is to get my picky eater to eat — and to make sure he gains weight while doing it. So much for rolling with it.

To meet Mason’s weight goals, I’m trying to include more starches and healthy fats without sacrificing fresh produce and organic meat. For starters, I’ve put special focus on breakfast — it’s the one meal he consistently eats well. Since Mason loves quick breads, I’ve been trying out a bunch of recipes for breads that look and taste like treats but that are filled with good stuff. My favorite recipe so far is for Morning Glory muffins from Better Homes and Gardens. Not only are the muffins delish, they contain some healthy fat (which he needs) as well as carrot, pineapple, apple, and raisins (the kind of stuff I love to give him). They’re not quick to make — you have to peel and shred carrots and peel and chop apples as part of the prep, which took me 40 minutes, even though the recipe says 30 — but the effort is so worth it, in my opinion. Try them out and let us know what you think!

Morning Glory Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (1-1/3 cups)
1 1/4 cups finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple (juice pack), undrained
2/3 cup cooking oil
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1.Line eighteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups, or grease muffin tin with shortening; set aside.

2.In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir in brown sugar. Stir in apples, carrots, and raisins. In a medium bowl combine undrained pineapple, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add pineapple mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin or cups. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Makes 18 muffins.

*Flour: I substituted Bob’s Red Mill all purpose, gluten-free flour for regular all-purpose flour. You can also substitute one cup of whole-wheat flour for one of the cups of all-purpose flour.

Add a Comment

16 Foods My Little Food Camel Rejected This Week

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I’ve started to call Mason My Little Food Camel. Since he’s barely eaten all week I think the nickname fits. I imagine that he’s storing food in the same way a camel stores water so that every bite is lasting him a long, long time. He ate wonderfully Monday night, but breakfast has bombed for the last three days. He’s been more interested in playing with his classmates then eating lunch at school, and he’s refused to eat pretty much everything expect for tons of whole milk and organic apple-cinnamon graham crackers at dinner. Instead of freaking out, I decided to make this list of all the stuff he’s turned down. It makes me feel happy that he’s had the opportunity to eat so many wonderful things–all of which he’s loved in the past–and I recognize that this is just a passing phase. He may be difficult this week but perhaps next week he’ll eat everything on this list and more. What has your babe refused to eat this week?

Photo: On Wednesday, Mason’s peach oatmeal wound up on his face instead of in his belly (left). 

Blueberry-Cinnamon Waffles
Cheesy Shells with Veggies
Ham-and-Egg Crepes
French Fries
French Toast
Green Beans
Hamburger on a Whole-Wheat Bun
Orange Slices
Peach Oatmeal
Organic Cheese Toast
Scrambled Eggs
Strawberry-Banana Yogurt
Whole-Wheat Crackers

Add a Comment

Why Is Mason Eating Well At Daycare But Not At Home?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

My little OSU Buckeye is a lot of fun until it’s time to eat. Why is he ravenous at school but picky at home?

I’ve dreaded mealtime all week. Mason devoured a new pasta dish Sunday night but an extreme finicky streak (even for a 1-year-old) hit Monday and I haven’t been able to snap him out of it. For the past two nights he’s only eaten organic graham crackers and cantaloupe for dinner. The more wholesome choices on his tray end up on the floor. He giggles his way through our arduous meal, gleefully feeding himself his own bottle, but when I try to sneak a bite of lentils or chicken or pasta into his mouth he gives me a reproachful look and then tosses more food onto the floor for good measure. I imagine him thinking, “Let’s be clear, mommy — I’m in charge here!”

At daycare, Bug is a totally different child at mealtime. He sits at the U-shaped table with his little friends and digs in. His daily reports from school show that he’s eating all kinds of wonderful things, including scrambled eggs, bread pudding, fresh apple, pesto chicken, fresh cantaloupe, rice and bean chili, and the evidence of his culinary adventures is all over his clothes, so I know the reports are accurate. (Bug is a messy, messy child, especially when it comes to mealtime.) Then we go home and it’s a struggle to get him to eat anything more than a tiny bit of fruit, which is better than none of course, and those darn crackers.

What gives? Is Mason showing a rebellious streak early? Or is this just a phase?

Add a Comment