Don’t be fooled by that butter-wouldn’t-melt beautiful face. Whilst she isn’t the naughtiest child that’s ever lived, lets just call her spirited. But I’m not here to talk about her cuteness and cheeky behaviour, I’m here to talk about her eating habits.
We need to start at the beginning with this one though. My other daughter, Chloe, was a terrible eater when she was a baby/toddler. It was partly to do with sensory issues, everything she ate from 6 months onwards made her sick. Even baby rice. She was well over a year old before we managed to get her onto solid food, and for a long time after that eating was a big issue in terms of not trying things, eating very little, still being sick with certain foods and so on. I found the whole experience incredibly stressful, back then I had no concept of the sensory issues we would see in the future, I just thought she refused to eat. Health Visitors kept insisting she must eat, but never had any suggestions for me re how to make it happen. She wasn’t ill, she didn’t get too thin (possibly because I continued to breast feed for a long time) and eventually at approximately age two, she started to eat properly, started to try everything that was offered to her and everything settled down. Now at age 8, she never stops eating, she has a varied diet, will try everything once, and when she says she doesn’t like something, she genuinely doesn’t. And so after worrying myself sick about it for the first two years of her life, I swore I’d never do that again. It all sorted itself, with or without me worrying, I vowed when Lola came along, that we’d just work at her pace, I wouldn’t pressure, I wouldn’t stress, confident in the knowledge that things would sort themselves out in time.
Unfortunately, things seem to have gone the opposite way with Lola, I don’t recall having any issues weaning her, and although she’s always been cautious when it comes to food (sniffing everything first), as a toddler, we never struggled to feed her.
Now however, age 5, we do seem to have a problem. Lola will eat Bran Flakes, Baked Beans with bread (but only tesco’s own baked beans), peas, carrots, chicken, roast potatoes so long as they don’t have any brown on them (you know, the roasted bits!), toast so long as it doesn’t have any brown on it (you know, the toasted bits), spaghetti bolognese (but only mine, not out of a jar and no one elses because it doesn’t taste the same), ham sandwiches (but only one type of ham and sometimes she says she doesn’t like that), cucumber, Tesco’s ready meal Tikka Masala, milk and bananas. That’s pretty much it. It looks more when I write it down actually! She eats things at school that she refuses to eat at home (burgers, yorkshire puddings and chips for example) and there are some things she’ll at home but not anywhere else.
She won’t eat pizza, chips, fish fingers (all the things that would be helpful if she did eat so I could actually feed her some time), usual “kids” stuff. Nor will she eat anything thats brown, whether it’s supposed to be browned or otherwise.
Now, at this point in time I’m still calm about it, when I’m cooking food for the family I know she won’t like, I just give her beans and bread (safe in the knowledge she’s had a cooked meal for her school lunch), or a ham sandwich. But it is starting to be a bother. Staying at Grandparents for example, it causes them stress because they don’t know what to feed her and going to other childrens houses or parties, can be embarrassing when she refuses everything.
Every now and again she gets brave and asks to try things, but it’s nearly always a yuck.
So I’m wondering what to do now? Do I keep going, hoping that she gets braver as she gets older, or do I start getting tough. Lola’s tantrums are really something to behold and I’m already tired and stressed so much of the time with Chloe’s issues (more on that in another post sometime) that I take the path of least resistance, partly to avoid causing myself more stress, and partly because I’m still hanging onto the hope that like her sister, she’ll just grow out of it.
So my question to you, if you are reading, what do you think?
Thank you for reading.