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November 29, 2010

Out of Order!

Despite the mess that is my pantry, I am an orderly person. And I like to follow the rules. Give me an algebraic equation, a recipe, or a 20-page instruction manual, and I’m golden.

I discovered early on that kiddos don’t come with instruction manuals, but I try to make up for that when I can...

When the girls first started eating baby food, the pediatrician told me to begin with vegetables. After a couple of months, he told me to also feed them a fruit, but always after they’d eaten their veggies. When I began feeding them meat, I followed the same logic, offering it first, followed by a vegetable, and then a fruit.

Process and procedure. I’m all about it.

At 22 months old, our girls haven’t eaten baby food in many, many months. But out of habit, or fear of messing with a good thing, or even perhaps because my pediatrician hasn’t told me otherwise (kidding! [kind of…]), I continue to follow the same order of operations.

At supper, for example, the girls might eat roasted chicken. Then they might have sweet potatoes. And then they might follow it up with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Most of the time the girls eat what I give them, give or take a bite or two. When they don’t, though, I try to remain calm. Maybe they’re just not in the mood for sweet potatoes. Maybe they saw so much orange over Halloween and Thanksgiving they are experiencing a mental block.

In such a situation, I silently take a deep breath and casually offer them the strawberries…before they've finished their veggies!...careful not to let on that they’re Messing With My Head!

You know what the crazy thing is, though? It’s not unusual these past few weeks for them to polish off their fruit…and THEN ask for their vegetable!!!

I think maybe they know fruit is at the end of the line – and they LOVE fruit – and they just can’t wait. But then they realize they’re still a bit hungry, and they know sweet potatoes are their option.

Whatever the case, I’m learning to deal with things being “out of order”. By that point I’m [silently] thrilled that they are going to eat some veggies, so I’d almost be willing to let them stand on their heads and eat.

…just please don’t tell the pediatrician that I’m breaking the rules.


Quadmama said...

I had to stop serving fruit with the main course because my daughters would only eat the fruit. (Maybe I deprive them of sweets?) Now that I treat fruit more like a dessert I can get them to eat everything... but if we're trying something new I'll serve it first for a fun treat. Whatever gets them to eat... right?

Christina said...

LOL, yea fruit doesn't come out here until the end, or they won't eat anything but that! Guess that's ok they like it so much but still..need to mix it up!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Oh, I am exactly the same. I told MIL today, "don't even SHOW them the good stuff until they eat their real food" :)

Love how you are with your paed. Don't worry; I'm the same with Dr S.

Anonymous said...

lol. i wish my doc would have told me some rules. funny thing? i came up with the same rules myself. up until a month ago i even *recorded* everything the kids ate so that i could make sure that they were getting the proper amounts of things. lately? i've been breaking the rules myself! :) i have just been putting all of the finger food out for them at once. we're still hit and miss. i may have to break out the chart again!

Rebecca said...

You're hysterical...take it easy, woman! You're going to drive yourself nuts!

I never followed those rules to the letter. My kids don't like their veggies, but Matt likes fruit. I get nowhere with Hailey. I do what I can, but also try not to freak out. I figure that they'll eat when they want to!

reanbean said...

My kids have been slow gainers from the start. They were born at nearly 6 lbs. each, Tiny just reached 20 lbs. at 2 years old. I'm come to accept that they're just very active and probably have high metabolisms, and that there's not much I can do about that.

However, we did work with a fabulous nutritionist right after the kids turned one. She encouraged me to always serve 3 or 4 foods at a time, and for at least one to be a food that the kids already liked. She also told me to serve dessert with the meal. She said it was fine to let the kids eat dessert first, but to let them know that there would only be second helpings on the other foods presented.

I don't follow her advice all the time, but many times when I serve lunch, I'll serve dessert with the other foods. Sometimes they eat it first, sometimes they save it till the end, but, fortunately, they've never just eaten dessert and then stopped. Then I'd really be in trouble. :o)