Now that things have slowed down. I promise to get back to my regular blogging schedule next week. A Marketing post on Monday's and the Round Up on Fridays. And a whole lot of crazy in between. I know you all are not coping with out them so never fear. :)
Today, I'm going to regress and talk about something personal.
My freaky eater.
My processed son.
(And don't let this picture fool you. He's a little devil:)
Now, I had no idea what a picky eater was until I birthed one. I used to watch SuperNanny and Nanny 911, laughing evilly at the parents who could not get their kids to eat. Mwwwhhhhaaaaaaa.
Then my son came. Wow! I had no idea how stressful it was. I don't care who you are when your kid doesn't eat, and is a little bony, and his Dr. is on your case to get him to gain weight - its' stressful.
My first child, my daughter is an amazing eater! I guess I did everything right. By the book. Introduced veggies before fruit. Let her try one at a time. Gradually added in stuff. No juice until she was 2. No eating in front o f the TV. Now, (thank goodness) she will eat anything, better than me. She will try anything once and she loves fruits and veggies.
Then there is my son - the Freaky Eater.
Now, first I have a disclaimer. I don't know if you've watched the new show on TLC called Freaky Eaters. If you have a bad eater, watch it. It will make you feel so much better about your own. I started watching it thinking "Great, other people are freaky eaters too. Maybe I can learn something from them."
Well, I was wrong.
Those people eat paper, raw meat, or out of date dairy all day every day. One person only eats beans - glad I didn't marry him! (am I right girls! :) Oh, come on what's a blog post without at least one fart joke!)
So knowing my son is not a goat or a t-rex, makes me feel a little better. Though I think a goat would at least not complain or might mow the grass. (note to self - get a goat!)
So my son is after all NOT a FREAKY Eater. Though I'm pretty positive he's 100% processed.
WARNING: If you do not believe in processed food or think it is the devil or even only serve organic foods, the rest of this post may give you a total heart attack!
That's all my son eats (and I don't want any comments about what I'm feeding him!!!! I'll be forced to delete it out of sheer guilt and embarrassment.) There are problems that led us here.
First - his weight was low, worse - his BMI. (Yeah, I barely knew what that was too until my son was processed) He's been at 90% height and 20% weight almost his whole freaky eater life, which also puts him in the bottom 3% for a low BMI.
To add to it - in the beginning, he had really bad reflux. That didn't help. Then he had tonsils the size of Mount Everest. Seriously like he used to choke on them when he ate. It was horrible. Problem was - Drs would not take them out b/c he was so underweight so he had to gain weight first. Then, we were told to do what it took to get him to eat. That's when the TV and the "what do you want to eat" policy was put in place. To top it off, my son also has a "sensitivity" (which means there is nothing we can do until he grows out of it) to wheat and dairy so we have to limit those things everyday. Of course - what do you think are the 2 things he loves most? You git it - cheese and bread. By minimizing dairy or bread - he gets hardly any fat unless its crap food. Hence low BMI.
Sigh - you see where I'm going?
That - my friends - was the beginning of the end for my son and his relationship to anything anything grown that is green, yellow, red or orange. (See this cookie is blue. Than again,don't be fooled. He's not eating the cookie, he's only picking off the sprinkles.)
His favorite food and lifeline seems to be crap. Not REAL Crap - of course or he would be on TLC. But crap food. (Hm, I wonder if they pay? Note to self - check into sublimenting income by exploiting sons bad eating habits)
So over the last 2 years, my son has lived off of chicken fingers, fish stix, meatballs, string cheese, snacks, and breakfast food. Makes it hard to figure out lunch and dinner.
Let me say here that when it comes down to forcing your kid to eat healthy or getting him to get on the weight curve. You do what it takes and hope you don't cause massive brain damage or watch him take the form of a large donut.
After ruling out anything mental or physical - we are told. He's just a picky eater.
Now in the last few months, all of this has really started to take a toll on me. I dreaded dinner, dreaded picking him up and emptying his lunch box, dreaded the nights where he cried about being hungry but wouldn't eat. Dinner is a war and trust me - I am NOT even WINNING a battle. I've become so guilt-ridden that I dream about him eating. Seriously, then I wake up and stay up researching. I would cry, beat myself up,and stress out anytime food was within his reach. Hiding behind corners, watching, praying he eats. Then I'd get mad at him, yell. Make him take a bite. Nothing was working. I'm positive Super nanny is going to come pounding on my door and tape me yelling at my kid over food or shoving it down his throat. Then, everyone in the world will see me and think - "man, she's crazy."
Just to give you a taste, here is a snippet of a conversation that seems to occur very frequently.
Him: "I dont want to eat."
HIM: "But I want to eat."
ME: "Okay what do you want? chicken fingers?"
HIM: "No, I dont like chicken fingers!"
ME:"You love those."
HIM:"I want meatballs please."
MOM makes meatballs and serves them on a fun tommy the train plate. Because who doesnt want to eat more with thomas?
HIM:"Buuuuuut, I wanted chicken fingers."
ME (pulls hair out): "How about a donut?"
Him:"But i dont like donuts."
Daughter: I'll take a donut."
ME: No honey, you eat healthy. You don't need a donut. You and Gray have to eat different things.
Her: That's not fair.
ME: Tell me about it.
Him: No! Sissy doesn't get a donut. I get a donut.
ME: You said you didn't want a donut.
MOM hands him a donut.
HIM: I want an apple
EVERYONE in family looks at each other and scrambles around to find an apple, whispering about breakthroughs and miracles.
ME (in tears) - I'M out of apples. :(
So now - I cook something and that's it. If he doesn't eat it - he goes to bed hungry. Which is harder than it sounds esp. if he wakes up in middle of night hungry and crying. I know it's probably just a control thing. I know that intellectually. But emotionally, I see a kid who has an issue with food that I'm hoping he outgrows when he leaves the toddler phase.
And yes before you ask - I have tried every fruit veggie, fruit juice, veggie juice, and possible snack known to man. So no need to even suggest any. Trust me, we've tried...everything.
Now, just to be clear. I am not saying my son is just a regular picky eater who will only eat junk food, yogurt, chicken fingers, fries, and bagels.
I'm talking even worse - the kid who is a RANDOM SPORADIC PICKY EATER. Which means I can't depend on ONE food to make him happy. It changes with the wind, with the time, with the hour. So that means, NO DAY is good unless we get lucky even if I give him what I know he will eat. Because we never know.
My son is the one who loves chicken fingers one week - hates them the next. One who will eat waffles only if cream cheese is on it. One who REFUSES to eat donuts unless they are white. (Seriously who refuses a DONUT!) This picture? Him complains about ice cream! I know....crazy. Definitely MY kid!
I know - don't ask.
I've gotten every advice possible, read every book. I'm doing it all with very little progress.
Now this may surprise you, but I actually wasn't here today to talk about my picky eater. This post is actually a tribute (stay with me) to Traders Joes.
Because now I can get somewhat-healthy processed or canned food and not feel 100% guilty. (only 50%) Spaghettio's - check! all natural, low sodium. Chicken nuggets? Check! white meat with no hormones. YOU want meatballs? Check! Cheese crackers, check check check!
I still have the problem of "Will he eat it?" But at least if he does, it's healthier.
Not to mention, Traders Joe's is cheap. So thank goodness, I'm not spending much more money than I was on my cheap Kroger card brands (which BTW have so much high fructose corn syrup, it should be illegal. See I do know what's healthy).
Now, I don't stress out as much. I just pop in some natural multi -vitamins and some healthy processed food in - for my son (NOT) to eat. I also found a special apple juice with no sugar (he loves apple juice) that is combined with Carrot juice. He still drinks it. (SSSSShhhhhhhhhhhh don't' tell him or I will have to kill you.)
To all you moms who are horrified at the fact that my son's weekly intake of fruit and veggies consists of spinach pretzels at Barnes and Noble and yogurt raisins (no he won't eat the chocolate or plain ones). I'm so sorry. I am completely horrified too.
Thanks Trader Joes for having affordable healthy processed and canned food that does not cost me an extra house payment. (Don't get me wrong I love whole foods but I can only afford one apple there a week ).
TJ - Thanks for allowing a mom to find a healthIER option for my processed son.
Who yes, was born in a bag and stored in the freezer section.
Maybe even grew up in a cereal box.
Now, if he only came a prize.