Sunday, March 15, 2009

[1Y9M] A Battle With A Picky Eater

This was what happened 1 1/2 month AGO ……..

It’s been a nightmare for more then a month now when it comes to Angel’s meal time. Previously cooking and watching her taking her meals ware such blissful moments and sometimes, she would asked for a very large portion and would eat almost anything that’s lying on her table polishing her bowl squeaky clean. Everything to her was a feast and all food for her was delicious. But since her sudden changed in her appetite after CNY (i.e. becoming a picky eater after helping herself with junk food and salty adult’s food for few days), watching her finishing her meal is such a torturing process and basically asking her to finish her meal or even 1/4 portion of it is a mission impossible!

I have cut down on the portion of her lunch and dinner to almost 1/.2 of what she normally eat and yet, she would just simple dig in and have a few spoons and then tells me she wants to get down from her high chair (i.e. she is full already). So I thought that she don’t like her usual dish so I have changed from porridge to rice, spaghettis then to mee hoon, mee, pastas (with soup or dry) then also bread and homemade cakes, etc the results is still the same. She would try to have some carrots in the porridge and tells me


then she don’t want to eat anymore. Or she would try to dig in and after taking the first spoon then making a vomiting face then stopped totally (but those food are not a new food to her). Even the veges in the ABC soup which she used to love so much was ended up on the floor with another few “YUCKKS~~~!!” (don’t know where she learn that words from ….) because she thinks the carrot, the potatoes, the onions, sweet corn, everything in it taste horrible, looks gross except for the meat (oh ya …. ) but strangely me and hubby also having the same soup but found nothing wrong with it at all!!!

In order to tried out what dish she likes, I let her have a varieties of vege and meat with her normal carbo and she would picked out all the meat from her carbo and eat them and left the vege and rice lying there, untouched! So in her next meal, I mixed the vege and making it into a meat ball hoping that she would eat them, at first she is very happy to see her ‘meat’ and once she chew on them then taste the vege, she would try to swallow them for the first few attempts then starts to spit them all out one by one and fuss + refused to eat anything anymore! She even reject tomatoes, tofu, sweet corns, sweet potatoes, cucumber (she used to love it so much and would eat them raw last time), pumpkin, mince meat, carrots, etc …… basically everything and only opened her mouth wide when it comes to pork meat which is from the soup bone, chicken drumsticks and fruits!! She even rejects tomato ketchup totally which normal kids would love to bits. If I was to offer her mee hoon, she would only eat the mee hoon plain but still, few bites then started to push all her food away or sometimes even dropped her plates on the floor making a mess!

If she was having bread, she would only eat them plain, also a few bites. If we were to feed her rice, she would eat them plain with soup, same …. Few spoon and she is full but will come asking for milk 10 minutes later. Cereal she would reject totally! If we try to feed her adult food, a dash of onions / garlic / any herbs you name it, she would make the gesture of wanting to vomit then spit them all out!!! (She rejects spaghetti sauce totally because there was onion in it!! And she hates tomato sauce too.) But I guaranteed potato chips / junk food which loaded with garlic / onion / even chillies she would eat them with her mouth opened wide LoL. I am so stress at times and even hubby who is so linear with her can’t even tolerate with her constant bad behaviour on the dinning table + extremely picky eating habit and once took all her food from her table and throw them in the sink and demand her to go to bed without her dinner. So there was few days that she is going to bed without having any solid for the entire day, just her milk, milk and more milk! Coaxing, talking nicely and even bribing her is just no use at all, she just doesn’t want to have anything to do with it when it comes to proper food! I even have tried rushing in and out of the kitchen just to cook her another different dinner after she rejected her first meal just hoping that she would eat her solid but then, she still prefers just to drink her milk only ……. I am so stress out!! I am worried that she won’t be getting enough nutrition and minerals she needed for a healthy and well-balance diet, I am worried that she will overly depended on her milk intake for the rest of the day, the month and the year, I am worried she is not taking any solid at all! :(

This was what happened 1 month LATER ……..

After more then a month of persistence in offering her with variety of healthy solids over and over, but do not force her to finished her meal if she rejects and also spending more time with her lunch and dinner time, I could see some progress in her, accept her solid one by one, more and more each day these few days! Since she is approaching her 2 years old in less then 2 weeks time now, I think it shouldn’t poses any huge problem to start introducing tiny bit of salt and other healthy options of seasonings that I could find into her meal but of course, to the minimum. I also started to notice that Angel

- loves noodles more then rice, still loves porridge
- loves ABC pastas but hates her animal / vehicle pastas,
- loves pork more then chicken,
- hates western style of cooking but prefers Chinese style
- prefers steaming rather then frying (strange!!)
- prefers soft moist food with texture
- and also, she would eat her porridge if she could see chucks of meat in them!

So I tried to chopped the vege to as finely as possible and to dice those meat to be as easily noticed by bare eyes as possible. I have been eating the same food (porridge) with her too sometimes, making her watching me eat hoping that she will dig in with me as well, and also feeding her 1 or 2 spoons of the cooked veges before her meal time (while she was very hungry and looking for me in the kitchen) just to let her taste how sweet those vege could be then show how I add them into her porridge hoping that she would not reject the dark green colours of vege in her meal, also offering her raw cucumber as snacks (chilled them for awhile). And now, she is slowly eating her carrots, having her veges, eating her tofu and taking her broccoli and spinach …… I am glad to see her progress day by day, eating more and more each day, food ending in the bin also getting lesser and lesser. I could see that her appetite is almost back to normal now but still, she would still picked out some stuffs from her porridge if she doesn’t like them.

I am aware that my battle with a picky eater at home is not totally over yet and will not be over so soon I guess, but I am glad that she is happily eating her solid now and even told me they were “NICE ~~~” at times :)


MeRy said...

It is very susah to handle with picky eater kid...Lucky Little Angel is getting better now..Hope she wil back to her solid food world again !!

Mummy Moon said...

I know your feeling, she changes from a big eater to now a picky eater... You are doing very good effort already, I think soon she will getting better lah. Try introduce other vege to her, broccoli or long bean.

Cath J said...

very good.. you really observe your daughter.. Thanks for sharing..

LittleLamb said...

Dear Mummy is just a phase... No worries ok. U r doing a great job already..

U know, i m a chicken cos i leave the work to my maid...:(

Serene said...

No wonder you have came out with so many varieties of new recipe recently. You are very 用心良苦 la... I totally understand how you feel now, remember last time Xixi meal time was torturing me too =( I think it just periodical change, she will back to her normal appetite one day. No worries... k!

Sarah's Daddy and Mommy said...

Such a BIGGGGGGGG and SUPERRRRR effort from you, Caroline. Thank God that Angel started to take some solid food and even say NICE to you.

I do feel that our kid's appetite will change from time to time. Like Sarah, she still loves her meal but once she saw her father is eating some crunchy food, then she will reject the meal that she eaten just now. She also likes to drink kopi o than barley.

Esmeralda said...

I WANT MY FRIES!!! Haha...

Poor girl... and poor mummy too for having to prepare so many different types of meals just for her small appetite. You are really patient Caroline. If I were you, maybe I will just let him eat his biscuits or milk only... But luckily Angel still wants her milk ya?

She likes to say "yuckss"? Must have seen it somewhere! She can say "nice" as well? *clap clap* Clever girl!

So envy you that she loves vegetables like cucumber. Ashton won't take raw vege, esp cold ones. I've tried giving him raw cucumber, but what comes out is the vomiting expression and the shivering pose! *sigh*

Sometimes I just wished that I can give him more vege. Your method of making meatball with lots of chopped vege is a great idea. I'll try that on him!

Wow... when she prefers steaming, go slow on the frying - else when her appetite changes to frying food only, you'll be even more stressed! Ashton too prefers meat, meat and meat... Sometimes he purposely point to the chunk of meat in his porridge and asked me to give it to him!

You've done a great job Caroline.. Keep it up!

Wonderful Life said...

The two photos of her reminds me of my Ryan... he behaved like this too when he refused to eat his porridge/milk!

It's real challenging hor?? Also needs lots of patience lor... and sometimes my patience has a "limit" ...I raised my voice and sometimes whacked him when I couldn't stand him anymore... :P

Oliveoylz said...

Nothing to worry about. I think it's just a short phase she's going through. Am so impressed she likes steamed food more than fried ones. Good gal!

the little prince said...

Mummy Caroline,,,salute you!!

You are really patient in dealing the food for Angel..if Kyle not in good mood eating for few days..I will go crazy already!! :-)

little prince's mummy said...

I spending a lot of time feeding my boy also.. He's not really picky eater, but his hand must have something new to play, and his eyes must look at tv, and he tends to put the food inside the mouth, not swallowing, not chewing either..

Mummy Gwen said...

You are such a patient and dedicated mummy. It's really a headache when dealing with picky eaters. Good job for knowing what Angel likes and cooking new foods for her. I hope it's just a phase. :)

MommyAngel said...

Mery, ya … battle with a picky eater for a month is like a year long already. Fingers crossed!

MummyMoon, thanks for your support, I will continue my effort in introducing her with more healthy food :)

Cath, I have to because she starts loosing some weight after she didn’t want to take her solid so I am hoping for the best now!

Rachel, hahaha …. You can leave the work to your maid which is good, coz at my house, I am “THE maid” :P

Serene, Ya …. I truly understand how you feel during your Xixi time but I am so glad that she is eating like a ‘queen’ now. There is one point that I was thinking it might be the ‘worms’ inside her tummy but then I realized it’s not the worm, it’s her picky eating habit which slowly surfacing now. Fingers crossed!!

JT, most of the time I start the day with a big hope but end up so disappointed at the end of the day and feeling so bad about myself ….. it’s really a tag of war inside me everyday thinking whether to just accept forfeit or keep trying and trying, I am glad that the hard work pays off after nearly 1 ½ month now, that’s almost 45 X 2 meals for the past 1 ½ month …. Gosh!!
- oh … Sarah loves kopi and barley water? Angel loves barley and the sweet soup I make (my previous post) too and I remember I love kopi too after my grandmother let me have a try so I don’t dare to let Angel tried them so that I can have peace and quite time and the coffee all to myself for the moment being :P

Esmeralda, hahahaha …. She make it more like ‘I WANT MY DRUNSTICKS’ and there was once she ate 2 (1 which was suppose to be mine) for lunch and crying and fussing for more to fill up her tummy!! Can’t imagine if she were to eat like that for the rest of the month.
- ya … she did say ‘yuckkks’ to the food she doesn’t like and make a vomiting pose too! Everytime I will asked her ‘Is the porridge nice?’ so she knows how to use the word, no choice la, have to ask her what she think about the food as well coz I have no idea what she prefers.
- Angel would not be interested in cold cucumber too when I make it as her normal meals. But when I cut them in the kitchen and let her spotted me eating them accidentally (purposely actually….) and she would be tempted to try them so I will offer her to have a piece or 2 and she will be more then happy to eat them while walking out from the kitchen :) Hahahaha ….. Ashton is making the vomiting expression and the ‘shivering pose’, hahahahaha …. I am so familiar with Angel’s vomiting action but shivering?? Oh … that must be funny!!!
- ya, you try the meatballs with vege, who knows it doesn’t work for Angel but will work for Ashton! Fingers crossed!!!

Doreen, ya … I can understand how you and your MIL feels when Ryan is refusing his milk and porridge last time. Gosh … it’s really a nightmare and challenging job! Ya, I do lost my temper too at times but I only end up with a crying baby and a screaming mommy. My girl is very stubborn at times.

Olive, ya … I think it’s a phrase too but when she is not taking solid for 3 consecutive days then I start to worried. I think she loves steam food now but I am sure she will live without fried food when she gets older. Who don’t love fried food :P

Yugene, hahahaa ….. I almost lost hope too in every single day but I told myself never to give up too every morning and drag myself to the kitchen with faith and hope! When it comes to our kid and those we loved, we will have more patience and more determination then we thought :) I just hope that she will be a good girl and will enjoy her food as much as she can now, until she marches into her teenager year where everybody that time will be totally crazy on a diet plan even if they were as thin as a rake :)

MommyAngel said...

PeiWun, oh … Sean also the same ah? Angel would also ‘forget’ to chew when she is concentrating in other thing so normally no toys, no tv, just the food in front of her so since nothing is distracting her so normally she manage to get the food down her throat pretty fast. If she sees her father is watching TV, she would also forgot to chew her food and eyes glue on the tv set :) I am glad that at least Sean is not picky in terms of his food :)

MummyGwen, ya … I do hope that it’s just a phase too and this phase will not grow into a habit! Gwen have not has such problems since young right? I am glad about that coz sometimes it’s just so stress out to see our kid not eating right and losing weight because of not having enough for their daily diet. Oh … I just hope that she will really be good.

Sarah's Daddy and Mommy said...

Yes, Sarah loves kopi since my husband let her tried once. YOu also like kopi o? For me, it has bitter taste. I dont like it.

Mummy Gwen said...

Caroline, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. Gwen is not picky yet. I know one day she would be picky too. Sometimes, she also refused to eat certain foods but I always managed to distract her and get her to eat. I will let her eat the things she likes and at the same time get some food into her mouth while she busy eating. Something like force my way through..hehe.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi MommyAngel, was at MummyGwens about to check out noticed your cute daughter's pic and did a U turn here.
You sure got one cute kid there...guess she has her mom's good looks.

Not to worry about won't be long when she'll make you a grandma, and you'll be fussing over 'her' kids, ha ha. Just kidding.

You keep a song in your heart and have a nice day, Lee.

MommyAngel said...

JT, oh … I love kopi o but have to find the nice aromatic kopi la, not Nescafe. Have you tried the McDonald’s breakfast coffee? That’s the one I like but must put in sugar to make it sweet enough, or else, it doesn’t taste good :)

Mummy Gwen, oh …. I can see that Gwen is not that picky in terms of food as you manage to distract her and get those food you wanted her to eat into her mouth. I tried that with Angel too, even switch on her favourite TV but this girl knows me well, she will always look at her spoon before she opened up her mouth and if I ever get them into her mouth, she will spit them all out if her tongue ‘senses’ some unwelcome ingredients, yes …. She has a very sensitive tongue too! Sigh!

Uncle Lee, thanks for dropping by and nope, she got her looks from her daddy :P :P Ya …. I am trying to take it easy on this matter as well but sometimes, I just can’t help it :P You too have a nice day ya :)

Esmeralda said...

Haha... she can eat 2 drumsticks too? Ashton also did that once lar... Did she eat by herself holding the drumsticks or you peel the meat for her? Ashton still dunno how to eat by himself.

Haha.. each time I asked Ashton nice or not, he just give me the thumb up only, even though he didn't finish the whole meal. Strange!

Well, good for Angel still wanna try on some raw veg. The moment Ashton saw that, he will shut his mouth too, even though I showed him that I'm also eating it. *sigh*

In actual fact, I was surprised yesterday nite coz he refused to eat his porridge, so I steamed an egg (coz I can't give him what we are having coz we are having chicken curry last nite), and try to feed him with plain rice. I was so surprised that this simple food steamed egg (which don't have much flavouring) can make him eat a bowl of rice! Just like that. Maybe he just want simple food? Well, that's for me to find out soon.

Ping said...

Wah! Angel really picky eater! But as long you able to know what her favourite then should be ok. Im glad that she can eat more and more now. Mummy angel you really pateint in dealing with your daughter. If for me i sure will damn angry and keep scolding Natalie if she not finish her porridge or mice + soup (this happen when she at around angel age) But now i learn to be patient if she unwilling to eat then i won't force her. This seldom happen to Natalie coz normall she finish all her meal. Normally my mum will boil ABC or herbal soup for her. So will mix it at rice and she love it!

Qistina's Mama n Abah said...

Wow..susah kan. But I must say you are patient mom. This kind of habit also can drive me mad. But luckily that Angel now have a good appetite than before..This may be due that she want to tell you which one she want and which one is not..glad that you understand her.

For me Tina is not a picky eater but every meal in moderate to minimum amount only, totally cant take chocolate and outside drink.. but then when she can eat some of my cooking well..its a relieve for me. Even now she can trick me by saying "sedap" but when I want to feed her..she ran away!

MommyAngel said...

Esmeralda, I peel the drumsticks for her as I am worried that she might choke herself as she loves meat so much! :)
- Ashton knows how to give you a thumb up ah? Hahaha …. Sure it very cute leh. Maybe he wants to give your moral support so he always give you a ‘good’?? For Angel, she will only tell me it’s “NICE” if she really really loves it or else, she will not give me any respond but when I feed her bananas or grapes, she will tell me “NICE~” even without me asking her, kekekeke ……
- Is the the very fist time Ashton have steam egg? How come suddenly can eat so much rice with just the plain steam egg? Ya ….. I think sometimes kids have their own preference so really have try it out ourselves and see. Angel also loves plain food lately, so now to cook her porridge, I will do it with only 1 or 2 vege max with meat, last time I use to mix and match 4-5 ingredients in her meal.

YenPing, ya lor …. But she don’t have any particular favourite food leh, so really making me headache to try everything out and see which one she likes and hate.
- I am glad that Natalie is not giving you much problem when it comes to her meal time hor …. I am also very angry at time but more like sad rather then angry la.
- Natalie loves ABC soup ah? I think it’s nice too .. but don’t know why Angel suddenly hate it so much. I haven’t try it on her for the past 2 weeks and maybe I will give it a try again.

Hi Sha, hahaha …. I am also scratching my head guessing and guessing. At last after almost 90 meal time (1 ½ month) then only she is getting better and I found out that she loves chucky meat in her porridge.
- Qistina is such a good girl, you also don’t let her try chocolate and outside drink ya? Me too but sometimes festival like CNY really cannot avoid. Sigh! She will say ‘sedap’ to you? Oh … that must have given you a lot of motivation!!! Keep it up Sha!

Esmeralda said...

Haha... Ashton's thumbs up is actually "index finger up" coz he still can't do the thumbs up properly. But when I asked him whether the food is good or not, he showed me his version of thumbs up!

I think Angel is being frank with herself & u, when it's good, it's good, when the food is not to her liking, he will not say good. As for Ashton, whenever I ask him he will always say good - no matter whether it's good/bad. Haha.. Ashton also will automatically say good if I feed him bananas & papayas. *LOL*

No, this is not the 1st time Ashton having steamed egg. I've let him have steamed egg once a while too, but not with rice. Just plain steamed egg. Dunno him lar.. sometimes he prefer certain types of food.

Wah... you are a great mummy lar.. 4-5 ingredients in the porridge? Great job... I only managed 1 veg & 1 fish/meat only lar... *full of envy*

MommyAngel said...

Hahaha …. The index finger ya? Very cute he is! Maybe he honestly think the food is good and that’s why he can take such a huge portion! I am amazed till now :)

Normally I will bought too many vege for Angel (coz all of them look so fresh :P) then whenever we cook ours, I will save a portion for her cooking later too so end up she will have so much ingredients waiting for me to cook so I have to mix and match them. Then I heard ppl telling me a colourful meal is a well balance meal so I try to make it as colourful as it can be :) But now since she is so picky about her food, I have cut down on the ingredients so that I would know which one she loves and which one she hates.

Just now while having our dinner, she raise her spoon and put in on our table i.e. asking for the piece of char sau which she spotted in my plates!!! Gosh …. Kid!!

Stacey Lim said...

Thanks for sharing, my girls are the same as well. Didn't know what to do...really worried like hell!
Good that Angel are doing fine now.

Esmeralda said...

Haha... she saw her "meat-meat"... hehe.. how dare you don't let her eat lei....kekekekeke...

MommyAngel said...

Stacey, oh … you are in my shoes too, ya …. When they are not eating or not eating right, although we constantly reminded ourselves not to worry but we just will be worried still, right? Understand how you feel now but have to be persistent la, no choice hor ….. like for me, if she don’t like the food, keep on offering to her over and over (but don’t force her to finish them) and hopefully day by day, they will eat, just like my daughter. All the best to you dear ….

MommyAngel said...

Esmeralda, I was just amazed that she knows the char sao is a meat coz I never let her try before. Actually we seldom eat char sao until the day I cook but still, she can recognized (or smell???) that’s her fav meat!! Incredible!!!

Esmeralda said...

Trust me.. kids have their own instinct and smell ability... :) Don't think of trying to hide the meat! Hahahaha..

MommyAngel said...

Esmeralda, ya ... only now I know :)

Kristie said...

caroline u are super patient man... i dont know if it was me, maybe i would have given up? hahah....

u have done ur best, u should pat urself on the shoulder!

MommyAngel said...

Kristie, when you were in my shoe, you will have all the patient in the entire world just to get those food down your baby's tummy, trust me :)

Fingers crosssed!!

Kristie said...

yup i really hope i have infinite patience hehe....

MommyAngel said...