Our Five Ring Circus: Diary of a Picky Eater

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Diary of a Picky Eater

Lexie had her 3 year well check today. It went about as well as I expected.

After a year of tests and blood work, Lexie is leery of anybody in the medical profession. I had to stand on the scale with her to get weighed, stand next to her as she was measured, and hold her down for a belly check as she screamed (thanks to frequent...ahem...examinations...by the gastroenterologist). I can't really blame her.

She cooperated for the rest of the exam. Until the end. She saw the nurse walk in with two needles, and got very angry. After a short round of tears after her shots, she cheered up. I feel so horrible holding her down while she gets her shots!

Surprisingly, Lexie is growing well. She weighs 32 lbs, and was 40 inches tall. She was in the 95th percentile for height. She's very tall, like her brother. They definitely don't get the tall gene from me!

Lexie now has to go back to the Hematologist to get her neutrophils checked, and get some allergy testing done. They want to make sure she doesn't have other allergies, in addition to the eggs. We got a new prescription cream for her eczema, because the current one isn't doing it's job.

As for her eating...nothing has changed. Her doctor was very concerned that she's still eating so poorly, even after 2 years of dealing with it. I spoke with a nutritionist last summer, and technically we're doing all we can. We're going to continue to give vitamins and her daily nutritional drink, and hope that she continues to grow well, and that she will eventually start eating better.

It is a daily struggle. We can't let it turn into a battle, because it will just get worse. I do have moments when I get extremely frustrated, and just want to yell. I can't let myself worry obsessively about it, though, or I'll go crazy. I just continue to offer a variety of foods and hope that she will try something new.

I feel like I have a 3 year old with an eating disorder. I am not joking when I say that she eats/drinks under 10 items. She doesn't eat ANY fruits or vegetables. She has an occasional bite of turkey dog or chicken nuggets. Her staple foods are toast/bread with peanut butter or butter, pancakes, plain noodles with butter, and crackers. There are times, especially recently, where she won't even touch the foods she likes.

I'm not quite sure how this happened. She was breastfed, and was an amazing eater until she turned a year old. I remember one evening, when she was 11 months old, she downed 3 bowls of peas. When she turned 1, her eating started to go downhill.

I don't think it's anything we did. We modeled good eating habits. We eat every meal together. She witnesses us eating a wide variety of healthy foods. Her doctor said she's just overly stubborn, and possibly has a texture issue.

I don't speak often about it. I do get embarrassed, especially when we have to eat around other people, and she won't eat anything. But this is just something we have to deal with every day. I can either choose to completely stress out about it, or just methodically offer her new foods and ask her if she wants to try something. This is our version of normal.

As for now, she's growing well. She's getting at least enough nutrients, with the help of her vitamins and drink, to thrive. She looks completely healthy. She only gets sick once or twice a year. I'm hoping that this time, next year, I will be able to say that she eats much better!


  1. I really pray that Lexi's eating gets better. I can imagine how frustrating this is on you and Grant. Hang in there. I have faith that things will work out. <3

  2. We have to do the same thing at Will's pediatrician appointments. I get to hold him to get weighed and have to hold him down for check ups. What fun!

    I have read a lot about kids and textures and not wanting to eat things. I hope that Lexi gets better for you, I can only imagine.
    Have you read the Jessica Seinfeld book? She purees veggies and fruit to mix in with her kids favorites. Like spinach in brownies? I have tried a couple of the recipes and they are not bad at all!

  3. I'm so glad that she's growing better.

    What happens if you refuse to give her anything other than what you guys are eating?? Buddy got really, really picky for awhile (and with all his food allergies, it's hard to even find stuff that he can eat), but drew a hard line about a year ago and refused to let him have anything else. He went hungry ONE night. The next day, he fussed about what we told him we were having, but he ate it.

    We often still make two different meals...one for him (and sometimes Buster will eat what he's eating) and one for us. But there are tiems when I KNOW it's not a big deal and he should eat what we're eating. he'll still give us a hard time about it, but does eventually eat it.

    By the way, I know this doesn't work for all children. Some are just way too strong-willed. ;-) Oh, and yes, it was so hard for me to make him go without food that ONE time.

  4. Don't stress yourself out about it. Almost all kids go through eating stages. I can always tell when my boys are growing... they will not eat anything for like a week then all of a sudden they eat everything in the house and even sneak food at night! My only advice in dealing w/ picky eaters is to just keep offering the fruits and veggies and just maybe one day she'll start eating them again. I went through this w/ 2 of my boys and I know how hard it is, but don't worry y'all will get through it!

  5. Don't stress...she is growing well so that is a good sign...hopefully as she grows so will her eating!

  6. It sounds like you have a good handle on it emotionally which is half the battle itself!

  7. I know you've been struggling with this, but I applaud your efforts. I know you are a good mom who is doing what she can. Like you said, hopefully in a year...stay strong!

  8. Wow, she IS tall! She'll be able to go on the rides at the amusement park in no time (that's always what I think about when my daughter is measured for height)!

    I'm sorry to hear about Lexie's struggles with eating. A friend of mine also has a toddler who just flat-out refuses to eat many foods. I'm sure you've already tried every trick in the book, so I won't bore you with repetition-- I'll just tell you that you're in my prayers, and I hope she grows out of the finicky stage!


  9. Food issues are the worst. My son eats a wide variety of foods and I get irritated when he won't eat something I new. I can't imagine dinner times if he wouldn't eat anything! It sounds like she is growing well though. 32 pounds isn't that small for a 3 year old.

  10. Mary also ate nothing for YEARS. She would cry if it was dinner time. She hated to eat everything. There were also "maybe" 10 items she ate sometimes.

    It lasted until she was about 7. then she gradually came around and started to try foods when she went to school and saw her friends eating. She ate the oddest things too like, seaweed, just because her friends did...

    Now she is fine. she eats everything but maybe 10 things so its opposite now. She eats the best now out of all my kids.

  11. Sounds like you're doing great and she's growing great! Definitely don't stress about it. I've talked to so many mom's in our playgroup and they went through the same thing and eventually their kids just grew out of it. I know how frustrating it can be though-- Aidyn has been getting pickier and pickier.

  12. Oh man I'm sorry you are going through this...how awful. El has issue with going #2 and when she was about Lexie age was going through the same thing. Only eating mashed potatoes or Kix cereal. It was maddening. Stay strong.

  13. I can relate to SO much of what you said about Lexi's eating habits. Some days the only thing T will have for breakfast is a Pediasure. Most days she skips lunch, and then she eats a few noodles with butter for dinner. She likes toast, noodles, pickles, and sometimes grapes. And then some days she won't even eat those things! And just like Lexi, T was breastfed, and she was a great easter. She was actually super chunky, and was always in the 95th percentile for weight. Once she hit one year of age, it was all over. And it's been a struggle since then. We've resorted to playing "games" to get her to eat, and even {gasp} sometimes feed her in front of the TV because she is so distracted with what's on that she doesn't realize I'm shoveling food in her mouth. All my rambling to simply say I feel your pain.


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