Dealing with a picky eater

In my weekly Baby Center email update, it had links regarding fussy eaters. Some of their tips for more healthy eating I have tried before to no avail (get your kid to pick out the food in the store and he'll eat it a home? Yeah, right). But I was pleased that despite Graham's vehement refusal to try/eat many foods, he actually eats almost all of the "super foods." Well, to be fair, he doesn't know he's eating spinach (I blend it in smoothies) and he's no longer eating oatmeal (although, again, I blend oats in smoothies and bake them in muffins), but yogurt, blueberries and sweet potatoes are staples.  I laughed at salmon.

The difficult thing is that he falls into several picky eater categories:
The Veggie Hater : But I've sort of come to realize that many kids (myself included) are/were veggie haters.  Although my friends whose kids chow down on veggies can just keep that news to themselves.  ;) 

The One Color kid: This isn't ENTIRELY true....I think he's more concerned with texture rather than color.  But he does eat a lot of beige food.

The Texture Tyrant: He likes purees.  God forbid I give him lumpy applesauce.

The Carbo Loader: If it's baked into a muffin he'll eat it.  Chips, crackers?  Yes please!

Stuck in a Rut kid: Of course he's stuck in a rut!  That's what happens when you only eat 6 things!

No-fruit Kid: Well, sort of.  He eats applesauce.  He loves blueberries.  He eat WHOLE apples (but if I slice them it's all over).  He eats banana.  But he's refusing lots of other fruits that he at one point ate (like pears).

The bottom line fix for many of these things is to sneak whatever it is you want them to eat into things they already eat.  So for me that's muffins, pancakes and smoothies.  What makes me laugh, though, is the numerous mention to sneaking things into their favorite pasta or into meatballs or into their favorite macaroni and cheese.  Yeah....Graham won't eat those things.  So sneak friendly items are VERY limited. 

I have to look at my brother, who was also insanely picky growing up and he now eats food that's healthy.  And I was also pretty picky and I eat pretty much everything as an adult (although I still won't eat mushrooms or olives). 

In the meantime, we've adopted the staying neutral and/or encouraging approach just so we can avoid a fight.  I mix pureed sweet potatoes and pureed berries into his applesauce at dinner.  I puree spinach in his smoothies.  I offer him whatever we eat (he has yet to take me up on the offer) and I don't force him to eat it anymore.  Meals are much happier and I suppose he's getting enough healthy foods in his big belly.


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