- I was never going to let my son have junk food.
- I would breast feed until he was a year old.
- He wouldn't be allowed to watch TV, especially at meal time.
- I wouldn't be one of those mothers who let him eat nothing but chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
Through trial and error we found a few things that he really likes. Strong flavors like spicy food kind of "wake up" his mouth making it easier. My go to foods that I can always count on him eating are pizza, hot dogs, breakfast burritos, chicken, taquitos, noodles with tomato sauce, yogurt and applesauce. Occasionally I can get him to eat fried eggplant, battered green beans, fish sticks or french fries; but they're hit or miss items. We give him a multi vitamin in the morning and a bottle of pediasure at night.
I know, I know! I have to take away that last bottle soon, after all he's turning 2 next month. But I'm a worry-wart over the whole thing.
He won't eat plain veggies at all. I can usually get him to try a green bean or broccoli or peas, but as soon as the first one hits his mouth he's spitting it out and making faces. So I sneak veggies into his food. I buy yogurts with pureed veggies like squash and sweet potato mixed in. I buy carrot apple juice. I put spinach on his pizza and buy special "garden" noodles that promise a full serving of veggies (not sure if I believe the last one).
So what does this have to do with weight loss? Well I'm afraid that I'm setting him up for a lifetime of bad eating habits.
For the last two years I have been consumed by his weight and worry over getting him to have adequate intake. I confess that in my panic over his calories I didn't care if they were empty or not. I often give him a pudding cup or cookies to make up if he eats a meal poorly. I mix pediasure into every cup of milk he gets during the day, so now he won't drink milk unless it is sweetened and tastes like vanilla.
His weight is ok now, we've managed to get him back into the 25th percentile and physical and occupational therapy seem to have helped him overcome some of his troubles. I want to get him to eat a healthier menu including fresh veggies.
Most of all I want to stop obsessing over every bite of food he has. I literally still calculate in my head how many calories he takes in at each meal. For example if I know 1/4 cup of his pasta has 50 calories and there were approximately 7 noodles in 1/4 cup there are approximately 7 calories per noodle. So if he only eats 3 noodles he got 21 calories. I do this all day long. I call my husband 4 times a day during the week to ask him how much he ate while I'm at work.
He's becoming more aware of everything now. And I don't want to give him an unhealthy attitude about food, especially so early in life. I'm trying really hard not to push him to keep eating. But I have to tell you all that when he eats nothing and says he's done, it sends a shiver of panic through me and I can't help myself from offering him a yogurt or apple sauce or ANYTHING to get him to eat.
I'm so afraid that my neurotic attitude is going to keep him from recognizing his own hunger signals and some day he is going to end up with his own blog and blaming me for all his weight troubles.
So I'm trying, but it's a struggle. I'm such a control freak, it's really hard for me to hand over that control to a 2 year old.