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Grocery lists look a little different these days. It’s lacking in variety. Why, you ask? Because I’m raising picky eaters.
Here’s the scoop: I am a single mom raising four kids — an infant, a toddler, and twin four year old girls.
My little ones each have their particular favorite foods. My twins now have a very limited list, but that wasn’t always the case. When they were around 18 months, they ate almost anything put in front them. It did not matter if it was fruit, vegetable, or anything in between; they were the best eaters. Some of their favorite foods included avocado, bananas, grilled chicken, and sweet potatoes. They never hesitated to try new foods. Even if they did not like it, they would at least attempt.
Now at age four, their palate is very restricted. Within those restrictions, they have even more limits. I did not know it was possible to have such picky children (and one is even more than the other.) I have a rotation of lunch and dinner foods I know they will eat without hesitation. They are not fruits or vegetables, and I am lucky if they will eat a “healthier” item at all.
Both of the girls are extremely vocal of their likes and dislikes of food and are even particular about the way the food is placed on their plate. The less picky of the two will occasionally have some bites of broccoli but that concludes our veggie options. My other twin will examine every piece of food before she puts it in her mouth. If there is the slightest deviance in the food, she will not eat it. She refuses anything from anyone else’s plate and must have condiments only in a particular spot. If there is anything else but meat and cheese on the cheeseburger, they will not eat it at all.
A recent example: we ordered some hamburgers, and they had pickles on it. They refused to eat it even if the pickles were taken off. Knowing they had been on there to begin with was enough to ruin their dinner.
Why Am I Okay with Picky?
I hope one day my kids will broaden their palate a little bit, but I do not try to push anything right now. Why? Keep reading . . .
- I know this is a phase, and it will pass.
- They both have sensory issues, so I know it is going to take some time to also try new things.
- Being a single mom and working from home, I am not ready to have a battle at 6:00 p.m. to force them to try to eat something that I know they will not in touch. The current stage of life I am in with four children under five, I try to simplify where possible.
- Even though they are not eating a variety of foods, I have to look at the successes. There is protein in a chicken tender or in a hamburger, albeit only a little, but it is some. I try to keep different things on hand I know they will eat. Even if they eat chicken tenders three nights during the week, I am learning to be okay with that because I know they will eat it without someone having a meltdown.
- This is what works for us right now. And that’s enough.