When a kid only eats a few foods, meal time sucks. We talk about various different foods as if they are so easy to eat. For some kids, it’s very hard. I’m not talking about picky eaters because most toddlers (and kids) go through a phases where they refuse to eat numerous foods they previously enjoyed. I’m talking about kids with serious feeding problems.
One reader emailed me and told me I needed to ease up about how bad chicken nuggets were because her family member’s child only eats chicken nuggets and fries. That’s all the child eats every day. Look, don’t misread my intentions. I’m happy that kid is able to eat anything at all. It sounds serious. And that is not just picky eating – that’s a problem feeder. Here are some interesting articles that contain way more information that I’m able to convey:
So if your child only eats 20 foods or less, you have a problem feeder on your hands. Often this is kind of behavior is part of a larger diagnosis including prematurity, sensory concerns, developmental delay or autism. There are resources available to help and there is such a thing as “feeding therapy.” It sounds like a “first world problem,” but it’s a legitimate and serious issue.
I’m a mom so I know meal time can be h*ll. I have a kid that eats great (who knows for how long) but we still waste a lot of food. Since I’m working hard to make sure he gets the best, it’s often frustrating for me to watch him throw food on the floor or mouth and spit out perfectly good food that I would love to have eaten myself. I’m not proud to say that when I lose my temper it’s most likely to occur over meal times, especially when he starts smearing yogurt in his hair and blowing bubbles with his milk and spitting it everywhere (himself, his clothes, the floor, etc). He’ll do those behaviors while making eye contact with me and with a devilish grin on his face….he knows how to push my buttons.
I can’t imagine the level of frustration, fear and sadness a parent experiences when their child only eats a few foods. One of my dear friends has this problem with her son. Due to privacy issues I really can’t say anymore. I can only sympathize and wonder how she manages lunchtime.
When I “attack” chicken nuggets (a food product), it’s not an indictment of your parenting. Hey, us parents have got to stick together! It’s brutal out there.