Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's Working Right Now

If someone said "Raise your hand if your toddler is a picky eater" I would not only raise my hand, but also my other hand and both my legs. I don't know if Ryan's eating habits are normal toddler behavior, but he's definitely very particular about what he will put in his mouth. So I've had to be creative about feeding him. Fortunately I have found a few things lately that work. Here are my top 3.

1) Semi Self-Feeding/Distraction - Ryan wants to be in control of his utensils, but this can become really messy really quickly. When I let him feed himself, about 90% of his food ends up on his head, ears, highchair......So now I use 2 spoons with every bowl of food. One for him to hold and "feed" himself with, and the other for me to feed him with. This works pretty well because he is so distracted by his own spoon that he just opens his mouth when I bring the spoon to his mouth. I have a feeling this one won't last, but it's working for now!

2) Costco! - Seriously, this is really strange. I think it's the novelty of eating in a shopping cart at a store where there's lots to look at. But for some reason, Ryan really chows down when we go to Costco. I went yesterday and offered Ryan all of the samples. Here is what he ate: 1/2 Pizza Bagel Bite, 2 Pita Chips w/ white bean hummus, 1 slice Havarti cheese, 1/4 Chicken Burger, 1/2 Madeline cookie, 1/2 GoGurt yogurt. That is easily the amount of food he eats in an entire day! And most of those are foods he would never even try if I offered them to him at home in his highchair.

3) Squeezable Fruit Pouches - A few months ago I thought these were just a new overpriced way to package baby food. What I now know is that yes, they are overpriced, but they serve a purpose. Ryan loves eating these because they give him all the control. I love them because they don't make a mess! (Unless he turns them upside down and squeezes out the contents. But shhhh he hasn't figured that out yet!) Most that I have seen are just a combination of fruits, but there are a few that also contain vegetables. I will pay the $1-$1.50 per pouch for these because they guarantee Ryan eats some fruits and veggies!

So that's what works for me right now. Any other tips I should know about?


  1. no other tips, but Susannah LOVES Costco samples too! (takes after her mommy!)

    The last time we were there, she was loving when I wheeled the cart next to the garbage can so she could throw out the wrapper. Then she'd want another sample, just so she could get another wrapper to throw out!

    We used two spoons for a LONG time. She wouldn't open her mouth unless SHE was the one putting the food in, so we'd "trade" spoons. She's really good with a spoon now though- I'm sure Ryan will catch on soon too! (it's still a mess, but much improved!)

  2. I wonder- could you rinse out the packets and refill them?? (I've not seen them before so that might be impossible...)

  3. I squirt 'em into Maeve's oatmeal, but I'm with you, great idea. And the 2 spoons thing is smart, too. I just figured out that cutting sticky sun-buttered pancakes works much better with a pizza cutter, that's my epiphany for the week.

  4. I love the Costco idea! I remember now that Miriel would hardly eat any fruit during the week, so on our weekly trip to the farmer's market she filled up on every sample of fruit (maybe twice!) I felt a lot better about the amount of fiber/vitamins she'd had for the week after that.
    Just the novelty of it seems to get the food inside them...
    When Miriel was older, she refused to eat the yolk of a hard boiled egg. A year later, her auntie told her it was the most creamy and delicious part of the egg and she started to eat it.
    I wonder, if we put some kids together on the floor on a plastic sheet, and threw some food down in the middle, would one kid teach the others to eat the things they never would have tried by themselves?

  5. They sell those fruit crushers at Trader Joe's, and they're definitely NOT $1 a piece. I love the apple carrot ones. I eat them all the time!