Why Do Mealtimes Have to be so Difficult?

Photo by Providence Doucet. From: http://www.unsplash.com

Lately mealtimes have become a struggle at our house.  Abby used to be a fantastic eater but now I don’t know what happened.  She seems determined to see how much food she can get away with not eating.  Unless the meal is scrambled eggs and sausage or pancakes with syrup she is not guaranteed to eat a thing.  Now I love pancakes, eggs, and sausage,  but I can’t eat it every day to make sure that my kid eats as much as she should.

At breakfast she will willingly eat one or two bites of yogurt or Honey Nut Cheerios (thanks, Grandma, for getting her hooked on Honey Nut Cheerios instead of regular) and then not have any interest in finishing her meal.  

Abby will take a bite of a food that she previously loved and then promptly spit them out.  Foods get pushed around her high chair tray or thrown on the floor.  No matter what she is given to eat she will repeat, “Cheesth!  Need cheesth!” asking for cheese. Last night I gave her some ketchup thinking that if she were to dip her meat in the ketchup she would eat more.  Wrong. She just wanted to eat ketchup using her fingers after that.

All hours of the day and night she will ask for a banana, “Nana!”  This happens she sees a banana on the kitchen counter or sees a banana in a book or on TV.  I usually give her one, figuring that since she barely ate anything else at least she’s eating a banana.  At first she would eat almost the whole banana but now she will just take a couple bites and be done, which is frustrating.  I end up finishing a bunch of bananas these days.

At first she would eat more if I allowed her to use the spoon or fork to feed herself.  I think it worked mainly because she was the one controlling the silverware, I wasn’t the one spooning it to her.  Now that it is no longer a challenge and she has figured out how to use the silverware skillfully, this is no longer anything she cares about.  

I’ve tried to expose her to all kinds of foods.  I don’t expect her to like or want to eat everything, but the list of foods she will willingly eat seems to be dwindling.  

Have your kids gone through a picky phase?  Was it just a phase?  How did you get through it?  I would love to hear from you!

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