Monday, May 23, 2011

The World's Most Sensitive Pallet

Jack went to the doctor today. He's 5'2" and weighs 91 pounds. That's a pound less than he weighed last month. Boy is a stick!

After his appointment, we decided to have lunch out as a family, a rare treat on our budget! I still had a gift card we got for Christmas from Lucille's Smokehouse Barbecue, one of my favorite places. Yum!

Unfortunately, when we ate there on Thanksgiving (which was wonderful! Good food and no cleanup!), he'd had chicken fingers which were kind of bland. Tasteless actually. Somebody forgot to salt them. As a result, he thinks Lucille's is the worst place in the world and never wants to eat there again. (Boy can hold a grudge!)

We coerced him into going there anyway since I had a gift card, but the whining and complaining was never-ending! I think he was enjoying driving me crazy.

He eats very little meat (no BBQ for Jack), so we ordered him some penne pasta with alfredo sauce. I specified that there should be no Parmesan cheese or garnish of any kind. Not even a sprinkle of parsley. When it came, he took one bite and said it tasted "weird." He did eat the carrots and ranch dressing I ordered him as a side, and oh yeah, he ate a biscuit, but that was it. And the whining!!! Did I mention the whining?

Next time we'll leave him at home. He's such a picky eater! When we eat out, he'll only eat pasta with red sauce (smooth only, no chunks!), plain white rice, grilled cheese, pizza (cheese or pepperoni only), plain quesadilla (cheese only!!!) or pancakes. It's really hard to take him anywhere or even to feed him at home.

All his life I've been told I should just "make him eat" what we're eating. I'm told "he'd starve to death at my house," and he probably would. They just don't understand that's the way his brain works.

Do you have a child who's hard to feed? How do you get your child to try new things? (Mine refuses to open his mouth and taste, as if I'd poison my only child!)


  1. Oh my goodness it sounds like you are describing my daughter who is 6. I struggle daily. It started as a baby with baby food. I thought it was a phase. She would taste it once and clamp her mouth shut. She would rather starve. Her doctor said she will eat when she is hungry. Well we went for 2 days of stubborn and I gave in. She is so little and every pound counts for her. She has a high gag reflex. She won't use tooth paste to brush her teeth. She won't take any medicines. She will like something and if she has it again and there maybe something different that we don't notice she won't eat it. Saying it tastes wierd. Then never wanting to eat it again. She does buttered pasta with no garnish. It has been awhile since you posted. Did you ever find a way to help him?

  2. Hi, Anonymous! Take heart! It's three years later and Jack is now 14, 5'10" and about 160 pounds. He's expanded his dietary choices, though he still loves pizza and spaghetti best. He now eats fish sticks/breaded fish, chicken nuggets/breaded filets and is more open to giving things a try most of the time. I can now take him to some of my favorite restaurants (even Thai food!). We just have to make sure to order something he's comfortable with.

    Respect your daughter's tastebuds. At least she's willing to try things, but if it tastes "weird" to her, congratulate her on trying it and leave it till another day. Work with what she'll eat and try to stretch her a bit here and there by trying new things you think she might like.

    We all have things we just cannot stand. Can you imagine someone trying to force you to eat liver (shudder) if it's something revolting to you? Your daughter and my son just have more of those foods. Hang in there and trust your instincts. Good luck!