My son is a picky eater. Yes he is! He has always called what I call a “sensitive palate.” There are some foods he would not eat, no matter what.
When he was 22 months old, I followed the advice of all the “nutrition guru’s” and well meaning friends and family who said, “Don’t fix two dinners. If he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat it.” Well, I did that and he wouldn’t eat. He got sick, lost him appetite, lost a couple of pounds and was diagnosed with ‘failure to thrive.’ What mother wants to hear that! Can you imagine the “middle class American guilt” that I had to deal with. My pediatrician was very kind and told me to forget that advice. He told me to try any and every food possible, anything to get him to eat. He even told me to have him dip his vegetables in catsup or put a little sugar on it if I had to. (I did not follow that advice.) And so I began my journey to get my son to eat.
The first thing I did was pray! I had my entire church praying. One Sunday I was at my wits end and I took him up to the front for our pastor to lay hand on him and pray. On my way home from church, I decided to stop at McDonalds. Yes I know it’s unhealthy, but my husband was working and I was tired. This was about 20 years ago and they has a special, 2 Big Macs for $2. So I bought the big macs and thought I’d cut them and I’d share with the kids. Well, low and behold Jeremy ate about 3/4 of a Big Mac. Praise God, he got his appetite back. And at that point, I had hope.
I went to the grocery store and prayed as I walked the aisles looking for food that Jeremy would eat. I knew he has to eat something besides Big Macs. After much trial and error, we settled on dry cheerios and a glass of mild for breakfast (he wouldn’t eat it with the milk on it), apples, oranges, baby carrots, raw brocolli, peanut butter and jelly, dried apricots, chicken tenders (I made them), turkey sandwiches (bread and meat only-he ate the bread and meat separately and did this until he was about 10), cheese pizza, and hamburgers (he ate these the same way he did his sandwiches).
The secret for him was all vegetables had to be raw! He could not tolerate cooked vegetables. I gave him cheerios for breakfast, some kind of sandwich and cut up fruit and vegetables, and some kind of meat and cut up vegetables for dinner. Every day I would cut up some fruit and vegetables around 3:00 and put them on the table. That way both of the kids could eat something any time they wanted. I also kept juice boxes readily available. And when you look at the diet, it was pretty good.
I am happy to say that Jeremy is now a 21 year old who has a must more developed palate. There are still things he won’t eat but that’s ok.
This is Jeremy eating ice cream!