9:52 AM EDT, April 16, 2012
For the first two years of her life, my daughter was a wonderful eater. The kind of eater other parents would often remark upon, saying, "You are so lucky," and I always agreed.
But the glory days didn't last. Vegetables became less and less popular until getting her to eat them was a chore, and my daughter, in the way children often do when they get a little older, began distrusting the unfamiliar. She wanted what she knew. And honestly, after my son was born last year and we began juggling the needs of two children before we collapsed in a fatigued slump at each day's end, we caved somewhat when it came to her eating habits.
While I don't feel that my daughter - who is now three-and-a-half - is an unhealthy eater per se (she loves plain yogurt with honey, oatmeal, all fruit and hummus to name a few things, although she would also happily subsist only on cupcakes if she was giving free reign) she is an extremely unadventurous eater. While I don't feel that this is a battle we need to kill ourselves over, I do want some things to change.
My daughter outright balks at the mere mention of trying new food. We're on alert for possible meltdowns when we go out to eat in case something doesn't look just right. In some ways it's a behavior issue as much as it is about food.
I think pickiness is normal in children and not to be worried about obsessively, as it often dissipates when those children become adults - my brother only wanted sweets as a kid and once almost broke his neck after rigging an impromptu ladder out of chairs and phonebooks and whatnot to get at the Easter candy my mom had hidden in a cupboard; now he's one of the foodiest people I know - but that doesn't mean we can't try to make our situation a little better.
For our family, sitting down to dinner together (at least most of the time) seems to be the best bet when it comes to having my daughter try new things, and now that my son is nearly one and life has calmed down, doing just that - and trying some new recipes to boot - is something I'm committing to right now. And I'm planning on keeping you updated on our progress! Stay tuned...
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