Maggie has been a picky eater since… age two or so? I think? I can barely even remember a time when she wasn’t fighting with us over eating vegetables or something other than noodles and cheese. She has like 8 or 10 foods that she likes and that’s what she’s been eating, because honestly, I gave up trying to fight her. We did, a couple of times- it always ended in tears (sometimes from Maggie AND me) and uneaten green beans.
We haven’t let it stress us out too much. She’s smart, she’s healthy, she’s growing. My sister was the pickiest eater EVER as a kid, and now she eats BROCCOLI voluntarily, which is something I don’t even do. So I know there is hope for Maggie someday. Until then, it’s cheese quesadillas and yogurt. And maaaaaybe a couple of carrot sticks drowned in ranch dressing.
But recently, she’s been having some… um… issues of a delicate nature, let’s say. And my gut (haaaa) is telling me that it’s mostly, if not all, diet-related. NOBODY CAN EAT THAT MUCH CHEESE AND BE OKAY. AHEM. So last week, we had a long talk with Maggie about healthy eating and eating variety and keeping our bellies happy and being a big girl and trying new foods.
She’s a stubborn kid, and she’s smart. She has tried every trick in the book over the years, and some of the tricks were so good that we were actually PROUD rather than angry (like the night I dumped out her milk and found a huge ball of chewed up carrots at the bottom. Well played, you little stinker.)
The first couple of days of our Mission were less than successful. We had a 90-minute standoff over green beans and carrots from a chicken pot pie. She eventually ate them, but only after she went up to her room for a timeout and a short nap (??) and then Dan rinsed the ‘sauce’ (gravy) off of them. Then two nights ago, it took her almost an hour to eat 2 slices of zucchini, a couple of cooked carrot pieces, and a short piece of asparagus. We made a huge deal about all of it though- we told we were very proud of her for sticking with it, even though we KNOW it’s not her favorite thing to eat. And slowly, I think her issues are resolving and she seems to be doing better (if it doesn’t improve, she has a well-visit in two weeks and this will be Topic Number One.)
It’s been slow-going (OH THE PUNS. haaaa) and she’s digging her heels in a lot and it’s really hard for us to stick to our guns but eventually, she comes around and eats what we ask her to eat. Reluctantly.
Tonight I gave her choice at dinner: she could have a taco with beef in it (she haaaaates ground meat) or I would make her a quesadilla. BUT. The quesadilla would have chicken and cheese in it- not just cheese. Imagine my surprise when she said NO to the chicken and cheese quesadilla and said she wanted a taco. Naturally, I didn’t believe it for a MINUTE, so while I was cooking the taco meat, I called her over to show her exactly what it was that she would be eating.
“Yup, that’s what I want!”
And imagine my surprise AGAIN when she sat down at the table and inhaled her taco without a single complaint. Then asked for another one. And ate half of that one.
You guys. I was FLIPPING OUT. Which I know sounds ridiculous because JEN, IT’S A TACO. SIMMER DOWN. But you just do not KNOW what we have gone through with food for this kid. This was a really big deal. Dan wasn’t home so I texted him and told him to get his butt HOME BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS, I ONLY HAD TO MAKE ONE MEAL TONIGHT, AND EVERYONE ATE IT.
(Audrey usually eats whatever we give her, but she is partial to food on Daddy’s plate.)
I don’t have any delusions that this is the end of our food battles. I mean, she may never eat another taco for the rest of her life! Who knows! But it does give me hope that she IS listening when we talk to her. She hears the things we are telling her.
She just has to do it all on her own terms, in her own time. And really? I kind of respect that.