1. Not eating what she asks for. The other day Sweet Potato asked me for a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. I gave her a slice of homemade bread with peanut butter on it, but she insisted on another piece of bread on top. After I gave in (it was a lot of bread!), she proceded to take the second slice off the top, then scoop peanut butter off the bread and lick it off her finger. I don’t think she ate a bite of bread.
2. Insisting on a snack of cookies, chocolate or the like five minutes before supper is ready to be served, then throwing a temper tantrum when I won’t give it to her.
3. Putzing around eating cool or room temp foods while letting her hot meal sit, and then telling me that it’s too cold, “go warm it up.” This drives me crazy!
4. Asking for more of something before she’s finished her first serving. Like she has half of it left. I tell her to finish what she has, and I’ll give her more if she still wants it. She rarely even gets through her firsts when I tell her this.
5. Using her fingers to eat ketchup, salad dressing or whatever dipping sauce she happens to have. She doesn’t even dip her food in it and lick it off the food- she dips her finger in it, and licks it off her finger. Arg!
What drives you crazy?
Well, it’s been over a year since I posted anything (whoops!) and since Sweet Potato is going through new phases in her eating life, I thought it was time to start again.
When I last wrote, SP ate just about anything I put in front of her most of the time. These days she has a few favorite foods (peanut butter, cookies, broccoli, and almost anything her dad is eating), and won’t try anything else. For example, yesterday we had steamed broccoli and leftover tuna-rice casserole. She has yet to even try tuna- rice or tuna-noodle casserole, but she ate all her broccoli. Today we had spinach salads and manicotti. She ate a couple spinach leaves dipped in salad dressing, and refused to eat a bite of manicotti until her dad told her she couldn’t have anything that he might later eat unless she at least ate all the noodles. She then had a couple small bites.
Her neophobia is expressing itself not just in her refusal of mixed foods, but of plain foods that she used to like. I used to give SP plain soy milk on a regular basis, and she liked it, even calling it chocolate milk. But then the cost got to me and I quit buying soy milk for quite a while. Now she won’t drink it. I even tried giving her mostly dairy milk with a little soy milk mixed in, and she wouldn’t have that, either.
From what I read, neophobia is a phase we just have to get through. I will continue (or re-start) cooking healthy foods, and remind myself that just looking at the food on her plate and watching Mom and Dad eat them counts as a “food exposure,” and it may take 20 of these for her to like a food. I also need to remember that toddlers generally like non-mixed foods better than casseroles. And when I make casseroles, I need to provide a plain food like bread or rice for her to fill up on if she chooses not to eat the main dish. No one likes to put a kid to bed hungry, and she’ll get over this phase eventually and start liking foods again.