We read a lot about children being faddy with foods. I think its something everyone goes through, you don’t like something, then you try it another time and love it, and then back to the hating! It’s just part of the development of our pallets, isn’t it?
Having read many stories of special needs children who have some very bizarre eating preferences, I count myself very lucky with my boys.
M is a fussy eater. He likes certain foods, and is not keen to add to his menu. I try to hide things in his food, but it rarely works, instead he makes him more suspicious of what is on his plate. If we are trying something new I will often get him involved with the preparation. He is an ace carrot peeler and chopper! He is always honest. When it gets to the table he will eye it up suspiciously, he will smell each component, and should it actually make it as far as his mouth, then it is licked before it passes the teeth. If he likes it, he’ll eat, if not he wont usually be persuaded to eat again that meal time even if I go and replace the meal with something I know he likes. It can be infuriating.
D on the other hand loves his food. He is far more adventurous than M with trying new things. If someone has something on their plate he doesn’t, he wants to try it. The problem comes if he puts something in his mouth he doesn’t like. It is as if he has been scolded. The mouth will open and he will be spitting, and gulping down water. To say it looks like a tad of an over reaction is putting it mildly. If he doesn’t recognise food he is given, even if he is enjoying the taste, he has to anylise every mouthful. It can me very tedious eating our tea! D also doesn’t like using cutlery, much preferring to hand the food, which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t love tomato ketchup on everything! I am assuming it is a sensory thing.
I am also lucky both boys love their veg, so it has never been a problem getting to eat them. Maybe it’s because we grow a few it the garden and the boys have seen the process from muck to plate.
My problem with the boys diets is getting them to drink. M more than D is a problem, as he doesn’t like water. How can anyone not like water I hear you yell, but they can. It seems to be a family failing. My Mum has always said drinking water gave her indigestion. I in return, always thought it was ridiculous, as we are made up of water. My opinion of this changed when I started getting my reflux problems with my gall bladder. Suddenly if I was drinking water, I would feel the acid rising and would feel like I was going to be sick. I took to drinking carbonated water, which is fine – thank goodness for my old soda stream machine!
I have always gone to great lengths to ensure my food dislikes are not influencing the children. They eat many things that I look at with disgust! So please don’t assume M decided not to drink water because I don’t drink it. When your baby is hungry, the health visitor says to give it water as an alternative once in a while, but even then, M would not take it. If it went into his mouth, it came straight back out! So it can’t be learned behaviour. His Dad drinks gallons of water, as he’s not a hot drink person, so it’s not as if M doesn’t see water being enjoyed. D, like his Dad will gulp it down, but M will avoid it at all costs, choosing to go thirsty and aggitated if there is no alternative.
So what do you give them to drink? I have tried all types of drinks on the market. They enjoy fizzy juice. I don’t have a problem with them having it as a treat, but definitely no caffeine! It is not something they can drink every day. So it is down to good old diluting squash. Again, I put forward that I have weird children, as neither of them like orange squash! I remember that being something that was what we got to drink as a kid! Mine instead choose either blackcurrant or lemon. I make it weak, as the dentists say they shouldn’t be drinking it. I get the one without added colourings and no sugar. Still, there must be a healthier alternative.
I think the important thing to bare in mind is that both children do keep themselves hydrated. They happily walk around with a sports bottle stuck in their mouths! I just hope as his digestive system matures M suddenly gets a passion for the old H2O!