Thursday, February 23, 2012

Toddlers Eating Habits - Just Enough To Keep A Baby Bird Alive?

My child just doesn’t eat.  My husband and I actually read the little sheet the pediatrician gives you; you know the one their assistant prints from some random googled site between her Facebook posts.  It reads “a toddler is only expected to eat as much as a baby bird.”  Check!  We’re good!  That is precisely how much our two-year-old is eating. 
I know what he likes.  At least, this week.  He loves him some green beans and broccoli (no, really!)  And pineapple and raisins.  And beef…taco meat, burger bites, even steak—my diet the first four weeks of his existence in my belly, thanks to many business meetings in Kansas City.  In fact, the first person to know I was pregnant, other than myself, was my KC cabbie shuttling me to the airport the morning my stick showed two pink lines. 
   My husband and I were in agreement that we wouldn’t be those parents–the parents who’d cook up chicken korma with a side of mango chutney and naan just to feed our offspring hot dogs and mac and cheese.  And we aren’t…yet.  We serve a meal and they are expected to eat it.  If they don’t, I guess they’ll figure it out by the next meal that they should eat what they’re served.  However, the trick doesn’t seem to be working.  He doesn’t flinch.  He still doesn’t eat.  He seems to not have eaten a bite.
   Yet, there are those meals where they throw down.  I get such delight in seeing them polish off an entire plate.  I feel accomplished.  Finally, my trice-daily attempt at balanced meals including a protein, grain, vegetable and dairy product (almost always their sippy of milk).  And then it seems he doesn’t eat again for a week.  Still, I take such pride in those fleeting moments.  I take into account the snacks I’d given through the course of the day.  Goldfish seem like the biggest culprit.  Or maybe just milk.  I feel blessed with the fact that they do enjoy the beverage of choice for little men.  But, maybe too much is simply too much when their little bodies are in need of other vitamins and minerals.
   As his primary caregiver, I know I’m presenting him with a nice balance and constantly trying to rework our menu to find something he’ll eat, something that sticks for a while.  There is only so much you can do.  We weigh in healthy at our checkups.  In fact, he is 90th percentile in weight and height, so something is nourishing him.  So, how does he poop?  Cause he poops…today he pooped three times.  I really haven’t figured that one out yet… 
   So, if you’re confident you’re providing a balance of healthy options and they are eating, they are pooping and they are growing, then maybe, in fact, they are eating as much as they need, even if it’s just enough to keep a baby bird alive.