Thursday, April 17, 2008

Messy Mealtimes & Trouble With Veggies

Mealtimes are getting messy at Silly Hat Central.

Oh, ha, ha, ha! See that grain of rice that is climbing into Little Sprout's nose? It is not doing that. No, of course not! That's just silly.

It all looks adorable on film, but the boy's messy phase is starting to unravel my last stitch of calm. Yes, he is learning to self-feed. And yes, encouraging him to explore food, to discover the fascinating tapestry of textures and tastes, may be my parental duty. But I don't have to be happy about the incredible, kitchen-swallowing mess, do I?

And over the side it goes!

Lately Little Sprout has been getting obstinate at the table, refusing anything resembling baby food.

So we gave him more "big boy" finger foods. Then he decided that he would only eat if he used a fork. You can see him below exploring the nuances of noodles.

Lately he refuses to eat anything fed to him on a spoon. If I give him his very own spoon with the same food on it, he will take it and feed himself. About 50% of the time the food falls off the spoon before it gets to his mouth, but I figure that's all a part of the learning process.

In the case of vegetables, however, the food comes back out and is handed back with a "bah" sound. (Haven't yet snapped a photo of that face yet. Sorry.)

Time to get sneaky! A's Mom recommended a cookbook (There are more than one on the market and I can't recall exactly which one she uses.) where they puree vegetables and add them to all sorts of foods so kids eat their vegetables without realizing.

The first sneaky meal wasn't so much a success as it was a smear and splatter campaign. The main course was turkey meatloaf to which I added a leftover jar of Stage 3 Pasta Primavera baby food, plus finely diced green beans.

Why did I add jarred baby food? The cookbook states that pureed foods from the baby aisle of the grocery store may be substituted in a pinch. And I saw no reason to waste what we had on hand if I had an opportunity to use it, especially for sneaky purposes.

Big Daddy and I agreed that you couldn't taste the vegetables, they were completely camouflaged in the meat loaf. So far, so good, right?

My child flung (tossed, hurled, gave-the-old-heave-ho) everything from his tray that had even a hint of a vegetable in it. Does Little Sprout possess veggie radar? Or a hypersensitive veggie detector? I will say no, but with a tone of deep suspicion. Is there a chance that one day he might eat vegetables? Dare I hope that one day he might even like them? Only time will tell.

1 comment:

A's Mom said...

The book is "Deceptive Deliciously" by Jessica Seinfeld and she does rec. adding any type of pureed veggies to meals. Just last night I cooked a Betty Crocker oven meal in a box, added more veggies such as carrots, broccoli, corn, and peas, with 1/2 cup of pureed cauliflower. No one even knew the difference and Little Man loved it!

I'm not sure how your portions are when you present them to Sprout, but try small portions at first. Sometimes when you overload their plate they get overwhelmed and well it goes overboard (like the use of the word "over"??).

Keep trying. Hopefully, he'll outgrow it soon enough.