Picky Eating And Us

Food has become a very prominent theme in our lives. We have to make sure they have eaten before we go out and do something, we have to have snacks in the car, in my purse, stashed at gwama’s house for just in case. We have to keep track of the foods Bug has eaten, what I want her to eat, how many times she has been in contact with that food, what she has done with that food; has she smelled it, touched it, licked it, kissed it??

Oh my good golly gosh. Food is exhausting. My hubby is a picky eater as well. He is one step away from having his food on separate plates, he hates soups and casseroles, and almost anything where foods are combined en mass. Six and I have picky tendencies but will eat a much broader range of foods than daddy and Bug do.

We do what works is a very literal phrase at our house. We do what works not only for homeschool, autism, and family, but for mealtimes as well. But lately it hasn’t been working.

We need to change something. Mealtimes just aren’t working and I am at a loss at how to make it work again. I have been getting sick because we all need to be eating the same foods at dinner (it’s a feeding therapy thing), and yes we add in things Bug won’t eat or that daddy won’t eat, but it is really hard. There are 5 meals that everyone will eat with no substitutions or additions. Five. How often can YOU have the same five meals and not get sick of them?

Two years is apparently my limit.

I started taking our feeding issues into our own hands about two years ago. I googled EVERYTHING I could possibly thing of, I called hospitals with feeding programs, I called feeding specialists in different states, I payed for many one-hour consultations with said specialists. I compiled a feeding program with all the information I found.

We started eating the same thing at dinner time.

We started using a food game which we have since altered quite significantly.

We started doing a food of the week with sensory bins, and drawing and playing games with the food.

We started collecting fun utensils in hopes of making eating really fun!

We started having Bug cook with us.

All of these things have helped a little in lots of ways, but Bug’s eating habits are firmly where they were when we started.

No fruits. No vegetables. Not in their original form anyways.

Zucchini or banana bread/muffins? Heck yeah! Strawberry and banana smoothie? Every day! But give her a banana or a strawberry and she will refuse it. We have gotten her comfortable with a few foods, enough that she will lick them or even take a nibble, but she isn’t willingly eating any of these foods.

And unfortunately following her eating habits have started to make me sick. My body runs on fruit and veg and I have not been getting nearly enough. I try to add those groups into my breakfast, snacks and lunch, but moming is hard and some days I forget that I do in fact need lunch. So what had been working just isn’t anymore.

Cue Auntie Fred (Fred is a nickname our dad bestowed upon her when she was little…inside joke). Auntie Fred is a plant-based dietitian. Plant Based you say? Fancy for vegan. Although Bug may be a lacto-vegetarian and my hubby is a part-time omnivore, does not mean we all can’t live healthy under the same roof.

Auntie Fred is working with me to come up with feeding plans for everyone, yes everyone, so we can all get the nutrition we need but still eat mostly or partly the same things at dinner. This has proven to be a daunting task. Turns out I’m pickier than I thought. Six seems to be the only typical eater of the house!

But acknowledging that things weren’t working is what needed to happen. We need to find a balance of things that will work for us again. It may take some help but we will do it.

We are also going to be pushing our doctor for more answers on Bug’s feeding issues because I have been reading up on a few and she seems to fit a couple of them fairly perfectly. Here’s to hoping for answers and help.

If your kiddo eats ANY fruit or ANY veggies, please please please let them know how awesome they are. Even if the only fruit they eat is grapes, that is one more than my kiddo and I want so desperately for her to want to eat more things.

Moming is hard. Eating is hard. Accepting things aren’t working is hard. But we gotta keep chuggin’ along till we find what will work next.

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