Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Picky Eaters



Recently I was reading an advice column where a mother was asking how to get her young child to eat healthy food without doctoring it with ketchup. The advice columnist simply gave the age old adages for getting young picky eaters to try new foods.
I read it and could only come up with one thought. “You’re overlooking a major cause of picky eating.”
I personally know several adults who were picky eaters as toddlers. In one case, the person falls on the autism spectrum. It’s a texture problem. In the other cases, it turned out the food the people didn’t like were foods they were actually allergic to, and those allergies got worse as they got older.
A pre-school aged child doesn’t understand everything that is going on, nor do they have the words to explain exactly what he is feeling. I know my own daughter fought me for years on chunky peanut butter. She hated it, always said it made her feel like she was choking.
Guess what? She’s allergic to peanuts. Actually now basically every type of nut there is.
She’s also never liked peas.
Guess what else now makes her very sick, as in major allergic reaction. The close cousin of peas, soy.
I could go on and on at this point about how much trouble it is to have to feed someone on any type of restricted diet. However, the point I wanted to make here, was that even young kids, who don’t have the words, or even the understanding to know what they are feeling isn’t normal, still know what they don’t like and can try to express it in some ways.
When a child won’t eat certain foods why do we just assume they are being picky and simply try to find ways to make them eat the offending food? Why can’t we first check to see if there might be a reason for them to not like that food?
My youngest daughter has always, always hated chunky peanut butter and peas.
I figured she was my picky eater. First I ignored it. Then I did a tiny bit to accommodate it. I bought some creamy peanut butter. Eventually I let her dig the peas out of her food and not eat them. Finally, as she became an adult and her allergies got worse and worse, I listened to her.
Another person I know who was a picky eater as a child still shows all the symptoms of being on the autism spectrum, though high enough not to have been institutionalized and forgotten as a child back in the era when it was still fairly common to tell parents to forget their children who would ‘never live a normal life’.
My point is, don’t assume a toddler refusing food is doing it to be a fussy kid. They might just be doing it because they are actually allergic to that food, or maybe there is another medical reason for it.
Really listen to what your child says about it. If they say it makes them feel like they are choking, think allergies. If they talk about how yucky it is or feels, think possible sensory issues, like those on the autism spectrum.
I also admit toddlers will refuse to eat. And that could just be a phase. It too shall pass. And you can help it pass by utilizing those age old adages to encourage them to try new foods, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you look at when dealing with a picky eater.
This from a mother who knows.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Worst Parenting Advice

The other day I was reading an article online about the worst advice new parents had ever received out of pure curiosity, just to see what some people might say. After all, maybe I could use it in a story someday, and then I came to this little tidbit:

“Twins are easier than one at a time because they have a built-in playmate/friend.”

I cracked up! Spoken like someone who has never had to deal with a couple of toddlers conspiring together to overthrow a safety gate or anything else. Oh, at first it might seem fine.

Our dad insisted that while we were babies and toddlers, before we started talking, we would jabber at each for hours, seemingly having very interesting conversation only we could understand. And it’s not that much harder to change two diapers then to change one, but once twins are mobile – Look out!

I mean let’s get real. All of you parents out there imagine your little one-year-old hellion and times that by two.

Times the un-diapered runaways, the knocked over lamps, the banging pots and pans, and all the other minor disasters one can cause by two, and throw in a dose of they communicate with each before they can actually talk, and believe me, that safety gate will only withstand their assault if its bolted to the wall.

To hear the war stories my parents used to say about my early years, I’m guessing we got all our mischievousness out before we entered school, because I’m telling you our teachers never had that much trouble. Though believe me, we pulled some mighty interesting stunts. And I’ll have to admit we were in grade school for a certain feat we pulled involving a Christmas present, but that did occur at home. Our teachers never had any such problems with us.

(Excluding the one trick where a friend dared us into switching places for April Fool’s day, which would be the only time I have ever pulled an April Fool’s prank, and, as I’ve mentioned before, it didn’t work too well.)

Of course, I don’t have to go with just what they said; I know plenty of other parents of twins. And one theme I’ve noticed is that when in trouble, they run away in opposite directions. And I experienced that as a young woman babysitting a set a twin boys! You aim to grab them, to get them out of trouble, and they’d scamper, giggling, in opposite directions, generally, both finding something else to get into.

I’m telling you once twins are mobile you need to be two people to keep up. And to just plain catch them!

I feel sorry to single parents of twins and for every couple out there with higher order multiples. With my active imagination I can figure out how that would be, and I do not want to go there! Ever. My sympathies to all of you.

But then again, I really ought to work some of this into a story.

Time to get back to my writing! Have fun everyone. J