A Homeschooling Dietitian Mom with a Picky Eater…
Is Your Child a Picky Eater?
• Does he eat less than 10 different foods?
• Are the foods that she does eat mostly white?
• Is he unwilling to let foods touch on the same plate or unable to tolerate combination foods such as casseroles?
• Is she allergic to any foods?
• Does he have problems with constipation, diarrhea, or have frequent stomach aches?
• Are there behavior issues or is your child often irritable?
• Does your child get sick frequently?
• Is your child small for his/her age?
• Does he or she have any skin issues, such as eczema?
These things are a lot more common than most people realize!
My son, Nathan, is a picky eater. He is allergic to peanuts and is intolerant to other nuts, including cashews. Also, Nathan has texture issues with foods and has since he was six months old, though I didn’t know it at the time. For example, he vomited up the pureed brown rice I gave him when he was six months old.
I thought it was because he didn’t like it!
I breastfed for eight months (using a pump, mind you!), because I was bound and determined that he would be getting the best. But pumping is hard work (though it did help me lose all my pre-pregnant weight). So, when he had to start drinking formula, he had issues with digesting it–even the comfort protein ones.
I didn’t know what to do!
As Nathan has grown, there have been a lot of food issues. There have been times when he only wanted to eat macaroni and cheese. (Actually he still does want macaroni and cheese with all of his meals, but that’s a story for another time). He doesn’t eat combination foods, and he complains loudly when I try to put more than two foods on the same plate. He eats a lot more foods than he used to, but it’s still hit or miss with many other foods. Though not as picky as he used to be, he is still highly suspicious of foods he doesn’t recognize.
This limiting of foods has taught me to be extremely creative (and has given me the opportunity to practice patience)!
Because of all the struggles with food, going all the way back to birth (more on that later!), I have been really frustrated at times. I worked with young children and their moms at WIC (Women, Infant, and Children Program) prior to having my one and only child. So, I was feeling really stupid at times. I wasn’t supposed to have problems with breastfeeding–I had counseled other women on breastfeeding. It wasn’t supposed to so difficult getting my son to eat the “right” foods, such as brown rice and bean burritos–I had counseled other women on how to get their picky kids to eat.
I thought I had it all figured out!
As a homeschooling dietitian mom who also has a child who is picky eater, I now understand the frustration many moms and dads have trying to get their child to eat the “right” foods. I have learned a lot of things you just can’t read about in a book.
I am hoping that together we can help our kids eat their way to happier, healthier lives.
Does Your Son or Daughter Like to Exercise?
I became a homeschooling dietitian mom of Nathan in 4th grade (he is now in 8th grade). Since then, I have struggled to get him to exercise regularly. We live in a small apartment (less than 1000 sq. ft), and Nathan is definitely not self-motivated!
As of this summer, I am an Ace Certified Health Coach in addition to being a homeschooling dietitian mom. As a result, I have become more aware than ever that exercise is more than burning calories to lose weight. Exercise is also about feeling better in order to achieve and succeed in life. Exercise is also about increasing abilities in everyday activities for all ages.
From the wheelchair bound handicapped child to the elderly adult who is struggling to maintain independence, EXERCISE IS THERAPY.
Though it certainly is not easy, I am learning how to make sure my son gets at least some kind of exercise most days. I have found that when he exercises even a little bit, he is more calm, relaxed and happy, and easier to teach. I have also found that when I exercise, I am easier to get along with!
My goal is to get myself, my son, and you, mom (or dad), moving more!
Deborah Hanyon has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for nearly 20 years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Foods and Nutrition from CSU, San Bernardino in 1996, and her MPH from Loma Linda University in 1999. She worked for several years for the Women, Infant and Children Program in San Bernardino, California. Deborah tutored at-risk and special education youth for several years in California. She also has experience working with the elderly in long-term care. She is an American Council on Fitness (ACE) Certified Health Coach.