Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Kid Really Ate This

My gorgeous friend Vanessa has a fabulous blog called My Kids Really Eat This where she shows her readers how healthy and adventurous her lovely boys are when it comes to eating.  It helps that both parents are foodies and can pass on delish recipes along the way.  I respect and applaud her.
But things are a different story in my house.  With one particular boy.  And those that know my family, know who I'm talking about.
But this is a happy story, this is a story where perseverance and nagging, and more nagging, and negotiating, and threatening, and PATIENCE, have conquered all.
My fella, ate nothing, zip, zilch.  He only ate foods with little colour and taste. Like bland cooked pasta.  Variety came with different pasta shapes.  No vegies, no fruit, no meat and absolutely no flavour.  Sigh.  It was heart breaking and frustrating.  In his case, I think it was definitely "nurture" (ie my fault for not forcing the issue when he was a baby and started saying "no") and a whole lot of "nature" - he's just that kind of kid.
But after he got two bad illnesses over two consecutive years, I called it quits.
It was time. And so nervously, but determinedly I embarked on a journey of teaching my little guy how to eat.
I used plain old common sense.  I know this boy.  I can't claim to know what makes his head work, but I could see he'd had enough of himself too.  So slowly and gently we started the adventure, one bite at a time.  For him, he doesn't care if its liver or lamb, it's all about the flavour.  Initially his food was teasingly tainted with a new flavour, just a whiff.  Then emboldened, we both turned the whiff into a sniff.  "I like this" he would proudly declare.  I'd love to add "as he scooped another mouthful into his mouth and loaded up his fork for more", but our journey is a slow patient one.  Although my boys would say I'm anything but patient as I scream, persuade him to take another mouthful.  Our meals have been known to last an hour.  One mouthful at a time is our mantra.  I use his age as the number of mouthfuls left that he needs to eat before he's done.   I use his father "when Dad get's home you'll be able to tell him that you ate pigs ears/steak tartare/tripe/kidneys....".  I use patterns "one bite of pasta, one bite of steak, one sip of juice, one bite pasta, one bite of steak, one sip of juice...".  For a period I used wine to get me through the dinner routine as I sat counting, cajoling, encouraging, nagging.  (That period has passed thankfully - I know a crutch when I see one).
And tonight without any complaint he ate Moroccan Lamb and Rice (with moroccan sauce flavouring from the meat stirred through the rice), he didn't eat the carrot or the cucumber I now put on the plate, but he didn't take it off the plate either.  And he did eat all the vegies that were mixed in with the lamb (although he probably doesn't know that part).  Baby steps.
Next year is the Year of the Fruit.
And the best part of all, apart from the benefit to his health, is that my boy is so proud of himself.  His brothers are proud of him (and tell him) and we are proud of him.  And he knows it.
He is unstoppable and eats everything we serve him now.
And that folks, I can now tentatively declare,  has to be a success story.


  1. Perfect good work buddy!!! and Mum and Dad!!

  2. Awesome Lise!! - Kate

  3. Yippee!

    It may seem like mine always eat all the wonderful foods especially veggies that we make, but my middle one has been known to throw himself to the floor crying that he doesn't want to eat whatever it is that we've prepared. Perserverance pays off.

  4. Ha! Love it Lisa and yes I could imagine a crutch could be necessary for a bit! That is a success story and what a gift to your boy!! Maybe he'd like to come to the Nepalese restaurant?? :-)