Just call me Chef Boyarde of “I don’t care, I’m not going to eat it”-ville


I love to cook. It’s a passion. Just think of me of as a skinnier version of Paula Dean with less of an accent. I was raised to and have been cooking true home style southern food for as long as I can remember. It’s my thaaang.

Which makes it even more hilarious that my child’s least favorite thing to do is eat. Anything but cookies, that is, and I can’t bake to save my life. When he was younger, he actually enjoyed eating and I would set him up on the counter while I cooked in the evenings and he would sit and taste all of the different ingredients and help me stir…it was genuinely my favorite part of the day. We would make eggs and pancakes for breakfast and I used to love finding new recipes that would incorporate all of the food groups that he would like.

Then the food aversion hit right around two.

Slowly, the list of things that he didn’t like so far outweighed the things that he did and my meals and my effort were hitting the trash every single time. I used to put so much love and finesse into preparing well balanced and delicious meals for my one and only child and took a tremendous amount of pride in myself as a mother for doing so.

Now if I boil water that is a big deal.

It’s not that I don’t want to still do it, I would love to, really. But the kid doesn’t eat. If I can coerce him into at least attempting to try it, I am usually met with a wrinkled nose and a request for toaster pancakes. Yep, that’s right, he won’t even let me make the pancakes. He doesn’t like them that way. Just take it out of the freezer and stuff in the toaster, Mom, that’s the stuff.

Oh, the irony! I know people think that their kids are all picky but mine has a special place in the pickiest kid hall of fame, I think. What makes it even more special (did I say special? Because I meant infuriating) is that his tastes change like a sweaty lady changes underwear (like the visual? Don’t lie…). One day yogurt is in, the next it’s not. Now what I am going to do with the 3 packs of yogurt in the fridge since it was the only thing you would eat for an entire week?! The next it is toaster pancakes, the next is oatmeal, a day later…who knows? It’s like a exercise in insanity trying to feed him most of the time and after a solid year of this mayhem I have lost my zest. Once you throw away 3 meals a day for a year to have him eat something out of a box or can you just give up. Or at least, give up spending a tremendous amount of time on something that most likely will see a landfill before it sees a tummy.

I tap out buddy, you win. I give up scouring the shelves for things that you might like. What kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets? Mine. What kid doesn’t like spaghetti-o’s? Mine. Toaster strudel? Mine.

In fact, just to be clear what a weird-o I am raising, here is a list of foods that he DOESN’T like (right now, all foods are subject to change at a moment’s notice and good luck figuring out what is “in” when one goes “out”):

  1. Spagetti
  2. Chicken
  3. Beef
  4. Fruit (except bananas and only some days…like days you don’t have any)
  5. Vegetables
  6. Pork
  7. Wheat Bread
  8. Eggs
  9. Milk
  10. Apple sauce
  11. Yogurt
  12. White Cheese
  13. Popsicle
  14. Cereal

Actually, I could go on all day like this but you are getting my drift. Here is the current list of things he will eat (again, ask me tomorrow and my answer could change):

  1. Ramen Noodles (not the broth just dry noodles)
  2. Spaghetti noodles with nothing on them
  3. Bananas
  4. Toaster pancakes
  5. Sun chips
  6. French Fries (and no, not sweet potato fries, which I tried)
  7. Baked Potato
  8. Mashed Potato
  9. White Bread
  10. Hamburger Buns (don’t ask because I have no idea why this one stays on the list)
  11. Yellow cheese
  12. Fruit snacks
  13. Cookies

So you see, I’m not working with a ton of options here. In fact, it’s a pretty dismal list. I have found a million ways to supplement so he’s getting the vitamins and nutrients he needs but cooking for him and just plain feeding him in general has become something that is more of a frustrating chore than a joy.

But hey, I’m not complaining. At least he still physically eats and I don’t have to get a toy sling shot to ricochet it into his gullet. πŸ˜‰

Photo Credit: kids-stuff.tumblr.com

Childhood Development Parenting Parenting and Childhood Development


Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

25 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Starting to deal with that myself lately. My toddler refuses to eat meat. She used to love chicken and fish. Now nothing. So I’m trying to do yogurt, cheese, quinoa… anything for her protein intake. And like you mentioned, some days she’ll eat it and the next she won’t. It’s more than frustrating.

    Her latest thing (within the last few days because it may change tomorrow or this afternoon) is red seedless grapes. “Mama, more grrrrraaaaaAAAAPES!!!” Yes, her tone gets louder at the end of the word.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. It makes me feel ashamed to say anything most of the time because people look at me like I’m starving my kid.

    • Food aversions are a pain and I would kill for Jp to eat a grape! Eggs, nuts, and peanut butter are great for protein and if meats are the only thing she is “off” of may I suggest organic protein bars? My local grocery has a whole isle of them so Jp can never get sick of one flavor. They are a life savor for me since I can call them “cookies” and he is none the wiser and they are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. πŸ™‚

      • I totally would but she has really weird and random food (and mystery) allergies. She’s allergic to eggs; that I am sure of. I don’t even want to touch nuts yet.

        She gets hives and her face will sometimes swell, so I have to be really careful. 😦

    • Ooooh, there is a juice called “Super Protein” that is all organic and I can’t remember the brand but it’s next to the Bolthouse farm juices in the produce section and it’s a white juice and in a small bottle. Maybe that will help. I can’t imagine there is egg or nut in a juice but check the label. I got it for Jp once but he didn’t like it since he’s super picky about his juices (surprise, surprise lol).

  2. Your kids list of foods he won’t eat makes me feel better about my 4 year old. He won’t let a fruit or veggie touch his lips and he hates peanut butter. Hates it in any form, including peanut butter cups or inside an M&M. Who are you child??

    He shot up from the 12th percentile to the 19th percentile, so at least he’s growing a little bit. He loves those sausages wrapped in a pancake that you microwave for 55 seconds. They aren’t that bad, really.

    I’m just throwing this out there for you since you didn’t ask for advice. Keep the mushrooms out of the lasagna!!!!! Ewwwww!!!

    That is all!


    • I like mushrooms! πŸ™‚

      And if I gave you the list of foods he won’t eat in it’s entirety, you would think your son was a heathen pig! Seriously, it’s that bad.

      I bought the pigs in a blanket things thinking if I wrapped a meat in his favorite ever lovin’ toaster pancakes maybe it would fly…but he just ate the pancake off and fed the sausage to the dogs. Smart cookie. πŸ˜‰

      • That blows. I think C has texture issues, but he does actually eat better than a cousin of his who’s only a little older and your son too, it sounds like, so we’re not that worried. The oldest has always and still eats anything. She’ll at least put it in her mouth and try it before she poopoo’s it. Boys…wtf?

  3. Bummer. It’s interesting – your list of things he will eat is carbs, carbs, carbs. I have found that many, many, MANY people, kids and adults, including Noah, with Down syndrome are compulsive carb cravers. Obviously JP doesn’t have Downs, but it makes me wonder if his food issue is part of his makeup, know what I mean? At age 6 Noah finally started eating green beans, but he can still eat bread like it’s going out of style, no matter how full he is. Of course, he might just get that from me. 😦

  4. At 44 my sensory issues still dictate my diet although llike anything else how severe they are depends a lot on everything else. Where can you get a t-shirt like that? You should sell them for the JP for Prez campaign fun.

    • I love that idea! Out of curiosity, what is the adult diet of a person with sensory issues consist of? Does it broaden at least a little? And is it possible to explain what it is about certain textures that is so repulsive. Forgive me if it is a silly question but having an adult explain something that baffles me in my child (who doesn’t have the language to communicate to me) just sounds so interesting.

  5. Well for myself my diet sort of expands and contracts. Sensory issues are pretty much like any issue with my autism where the worse I am doing overall will make them worse so at an extreme I pretty well don’t tolerate anything, then progressing through the softer foods all the way up to being able to tolerate most foods (not really all but a pretty good range) at an optimal level. It’s been a tough 15 months for me so not to be discouraging but we are pretty well down to peanut butter, bananas, and oatmeal. The worse I am doing the harder eating is. I don’t know if I would say for me it is pain it just feels really unpleasant to eat, at the worst extreme. That’s the tactile part of chewing I guess there are also issues related to how the food feels in your mouth that make them no goes for me.

    I do better eating socially than alone. I think the combination of the other people being a prompt and some distraction from things I might hesitate on. I don’t know. Because for me executive function also goes badly askew at times like this we get into a bit of a circle where I forget to eat, I am not tolerating texture well, then lack of practice with texture makes it worse.

    An eating related issue people don’t tend to think of if they are only focussed on the food but what you are eating off of matters. I can’t stand to handle styrofoam, eat foods that will get moist off paper plates as that feels weird against your utensil, or paper napkins. I also can’t tolerate the feel of dry wood so what you are given to eat the food with also matters to me. I usually try to remember to take a plate with me to avoid this or a little thermos but sometimes I forget. Those are things it is easier to get away with as a kid where no on looks twice if you plunge your chopsticks into your kool-aid for a bit…

    Everyone is different but I know for me it wasn’t really a matter of making progress expanding the range of foods that I would eat and then it staying that way. It’s not all bad though as it does help me estimate how I am doing at times when I am not sure.

    JP likely has different things that revolt him or appeal to him. Some people are completely the opposite of me and do better with solids then soft etc… .

    It’s hard to explain why to someone who doesn’t experience it but today I am not doing so great. Because I am not doing too great the government thought it prudent to send someone out to see if I was alive at least and try to keep me that way and that person was keen to have me eat. I tried a cereal bar but that was too much for today. I kind of knew it would be but I couldn’t convince her that it wasn’t about not wanting to eat but how horrible eating felt. I managed to down enough grapes to have her go away ultimately.

    • Wow, I’m sorry to hear about that situation. Though a ton of the things that you said ring pretty true. Especially the utensil part (which never occurred to me at all) since almost all of Jp’s foods are eaten by hand even though he has known how to use a fork and spoon for ages.

      Also, your “core” foods are the same as his..Peanut butter, oatmeal, and bananas. If you threw in toaster pancakes I could have you over for dinner any day of the week. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for taking the time to break that down for me. It brought some new thoughts to my attention and thoughts I haven’t even considered. It means a lot that you did that. I know that as parents its so hard for us to understand some of the things that you go through with sensory issues and it means the world to me to have an adult tell me things so that I can try to make my son’s world a better place for him!

      Thank you again!

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