Friday, August 05, 2011

Well, don't you know that other kids are starving in Japan, so eat it, just eat it

Yah, so in the last couple weeks, my good-eating, broccoli- and Brussels sprout- loving child went from being an omnivore to rejecting almost all food and subsisting largely on air. And ice cream.

Everything is no. Things he used to love - and things I know he still likes - are immediately rejected.

"Would you like eggs?"


"How about pasta and broccoli?"


"Do you want some oatmeal? Mmm! Oatmeal!"


"Want some French toast? With syrup!"


"Would you like to stand in the corner and scream?"


And then he'll suggest ice cream. Or 'nack. "Want some 'nack!"

"How about pasta for snack?"

"NO. Want some 'nack."

"Would you like some yogurt for snack?"

"NO! Want some 'nack!"

I'm not quite sure what snack is for him. But not cookies, not berries, not crackers...

It's not that he's ill-tempered. He just doesn't want to eat. Meals have become infuriating.

Seriously, sometimes it takes every fiber of my being not to pry his little jaw open, shove a forkful of food in, and then hold my hand over his mouth until he swallows. "Eat it! Just fucking eat it!"

However. I'm pretty sure that's: 1. abuse, and 2. a good way to get a kid to hate broccoli/pasta/whatever for life.


  1. He's just testing his limits. And you have to take heart in the fact that he won't starve himself. When he gets hungry enough, he WILL eat. (As infuriating as it is for his mother!)

  2. I had an uncle who assured me that, if I didn't eat my McDonalds kiddie burger (with ketchup, mustard and pickles on it - condiments are gross to a youngster), my grandmother would shove said burger down my throat. But, please know, it didn't turn me off of McDonalds forever, and I'm doubtful that Jordan will avoid broccoli, no matter what tactic you employ.

    I say give the kid some ice cream. And give me some, too, while you're at it.

  3. What Tempest said. Apparently I stopped eating when I was J's age. My mother consulted our pediatrician (who was a long-time family friend and an eminently reasonable and practical man) who said, "you know, you don't hear much about middle class kids starving to death. She's healthy, she's got energy, she's fine. She'll eat when she's hungry. Don't worry about it." I took that advice when Zeke when through a similar phase.

  4. Don't stress (Yeah, I know it's not that easy) But seriously. A healthy child will not starve themselves. Just keep offering stuff and he will eat it when he's hungry.

    Jessica is 6 and there are days when I'm certain the child has a tapeworm and other days where I'm certain she lives on air and sno cones. Kids do this. (Just to F*CK with you)

  5. Tempest - Rationally, that makes sense. It's just so hard to have him not eat and not eat and not eat!

    freckledk - That's pretty hilarious. Were you just a bad eater?

    And he gets his ice cream, he totally does.

    Wendy - Such a good point. Middle class kids don't tend to starve to death. He's healthy and he has plenty of energy. I need to chill out.

    Cheryl - I am certain there is power play and the desire to f*ck with us. I'm going to really try to dial it back. Air and sno cones makes her sound like a pixie, doesn't it?

  6. Haha yeah, we're going through similar stuff with little C. Sometimes, if she balks, I leave the food just out of her reach and then go about my business. Usually in a few minutes she asks for it.

    Another tactic we've used is getting some on her lips. She licks it off, then wants more.

    And then there's this:

    Haha! And I love this comment:
    Colleen said...
    I've stopped calling my toddler for lunch since he throws a fit about it. I just set his food out on the table and he comes along and thinks he's made this great discovery!

  7. I live with my best friend and her son, who is now 8. He STILL doesn't eat. The doctor says he's healthy and not to worry. Everyday he comes home from school with basically his whole lunch. He does eat a really healthy supper though. Kids are weird.

  8. This is the thing. They stop eating anything healthy around 18 months to 2 years. Then start again around 3.5, 4.

    I panicked with Declan, but with Erin, I have learned my lesson, and I no longer sweat it.

    It's one of those secrets other parents don't tell you in case it puts you off (that, and the fact that sleepless nights don't end once you infant "sleeps through")

    It will be fine.

  9. Every kid goes through that phase at this age (for anywhere from a few months to a few years). The key for you is to not let it stress you completely out ('cause it won't help), and to not become a short-order cook (because you'll go crazy).

    The book "How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much" by Ellyn Satter comes pretty well recommended, although I haven't read it myself. Might be worth checking out, though.

  10. firstly, your title is weird al, my personal hero. so, thanks for that. also, declan goes from no food to inhaling everything he can find on a daily basis. i find it's best to just wait until he asks for it. the other day, in fact, he said "hey, what's lunch?". i asked what he wanted. " n cheese!". that's mah boy...!

    i just realized it's been weeks since we've "spoken"! stupid summer with stupid beaches within an hour...oops, sorry!


  11. You're getting excellent advice here. There are days when we still go through this with a kid who can drive and another who is 12 so please don't fret too much.

    In the old days I would put out some food and it would disappear or not, but no one starved. Now I shrug and point toward the kitchen.

  12. Lara doesn't eat, I swear! But she does the most gianormous poos (TMI?) so I figure she must be getting SOMEthing out of the one corner of bread she ate last week... These days I look at her meals in weeks, not meals or even days. As in, this week she ate something so i guess its ok.

  13. Somewhere around the age of 2 or thereabouts they all seem to go through the extreme picky / not eating thing. Maybe it's because by then they have already sampled said ice cream and cookies or naks etc and have decided to hold out for the "good stuff" or what. But my kids and my friends kids did it and now I'm watching my grandchildren do it.

    The good news is they all turn out okay anyway although the moms end up a little worse for the wear.

    But that face!! Your J is adorable even covered with chocolate!

  14. I have a kid who doesn't eat. Except when he does, and then he eats like it's his last meal. He's almost 2. He's been like this since he started to really eat around a year. I spent MONTHS pulling my hair out about it. Except that pulling my hair didn't do anything but make me look funny. The moral: As the above commenters have said - he isn't likely to starve himself. Try not to stress. (I also employ the, "Dinner's ready" and then just leave in on the table routine. More often than not he comes over and wants to know what we're doing, climbs up into his chair and starts eating. It's possible that my kid doesn't like being told what to do. Must be hereditary.)

  15. As with a lot of the comments here. Ben went through this stage too. I used to leave a plate of carrots, celery, raw broccoli and crakers and cheese cut into sticks and crackers other bits and pieces and some chip dip out on the table and he would come along and go hmmm whats this, oh ok what does that taste like ...oh yum if I dip this in here and eat it it tastes bloody nice so lets dip everything in the dip because the dip rocks and then when nothing was left the fingers went into the dip to make sure it all got eaten. He wont starve just put it there and say J theres some nibblies on the table when you are hungry and walk away. Its not worth you stressing and him getting cranky. Forcing food into him is just not worth it.

  16. This is the worst part of toddler-dom. You just can't stop the Food-No's. LBM has decided he just wants to eat Mighty Mini's slow melt popsicles. He does not want anything else. Not even ice cream. He ate a third of a cup (I kid you not) of chicken and rice yesterday. Something he normal inhales like the air he breathes. I had to put the leftovers in my fridge.

    I am ready to cry. Seriously. How do you FEED someone who just doesn't want to eat anything?

    He will however, drink milk or juice. Anything liquid. Just nothing he has to chew.

    Good luck to you.

  17. There will come a time when you can't even imagine J not eating. You'll bring food into the house, turn your back, and it'll be gone. You'll be lucky if the packaging survives. At one point when my brothers and I were all in high school, my mom was going through pounds and pounds of ground beef, chicken and pasta and something like 10 or 12 gallons of milk a week.

    The phrase "Eating her out of house and home" comes to mind...


Tell me about it.