Latina Mommy

My Toddler Is on a Food Strike—Now What?

Hudson has never been a big eater, but he would always eat three meals a day relatively fuss-free—except for the occasional broccoli war.

After months of devouring bowl after bowl of  his favorite culinary delight, mac 'n cheese, he's grown tired of it. I'm feeling pretty helpless, since that was the only thing I could get him to eat!

My mother, as you can imagine, doesn't understand this behavior. She really takes it personally when Hudson rejects her arroz con habichuelas, and I'm at a real loss too. Where did my little buddy's appetite go?

My husband and I thought he was just taking a pass on the healthy foods, so we reluctantly tried introducing the more savory comidas that you would think no kid would ever turn down. To our surprise and disappointment, even the long-standing kiddie favorites like papas fritas, pancakes, french toast, and even chicken nuggets, were turned down by our picky eater. Nada was working!

Of course, my husband and I called his pediatrician out of legitimate concern! The whole not eating thing just didn't seem normal to us. Her advice? Starve it out. Holy vaca! I know all about cry it out, but starve it out seems torturous for all of us.

The pediatrician advised against letting Hudson order us around like we're short-order cooks. She said Hudson would eventually get hungry and ask for food, and since he will be hungry, he will eat whatever we choose to serve him. I told my mother about my pediatrician's suggestion and her response was, "Esa doctora esta loca¡"  I'm starting to think my doctor might be a little crazy too.

I'm so confused. My pediatrician said that as long as he's growing normally, we shouldn't worry, and to write this off as a phase. I want to know when this phase will end! I'm so not down with the starve-it-out method, at least not yet, and getting Hudson to eat these days is brutal. My husband and I are determined to achieve our goal of getting Hudson to experiment more with his food, so we continue to introduce new foods, and making them look as pretty and appetizing as possible. This morning he made us proud and ate pancakes—it wasn't without a fight, but at least he ate them. Phew!

How do you get your niños to eat? I am willing to try your method!

Do relate to Latina Mommy, Yesenia Almonte? Check out how she handles her sticky sibling rivalry situation.
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Photo courtesy of Yesenia Almonte