My Crunchy-Picky Toddler

My sweet, sweet son has many positive attributes. He shares. He helps pick up his toys. He even combs my hair using his own comb. One characteristic that is less than spectacular, however, is his food aversions.

Theo has been a picky eater from the moment we opened that first jar of baby food. If it wasn’t banana, he wasn’t having it.

For months after, we struggled to feed him solid foods, introducing the typically suggested menu items: noodles, oatmeal, mashed fruits. Alas, nothing would make it into his tiny mouth. (And if it did, it abruptly ended up on the floor, which is probably why his relationship with our dog has strengthened considerably over the past few months… so there’s a positive, right?)

The amount of time I spent scouring the web to see what other parents were doing also didn’t help. To this day, I am envious of the posts across the world wide web of parents listing the fruits, veggies — and the adorablely prepared finger foods cut into animal shapes– eaten by their little ones throughout the day. But then it happened. Theo ate something solid. And it was solid.

Enter the Eggo waffle. I cannot explain how excited I was when he actually put a little piece of that crispy waffle into his mouth and it didn’t come out. Seriously, I felt the biggest wave of satisfaction as I watched — intensly — as he puffed out his cheeks, moving the morsel around with his tongue. And then he swallowed it. He actually SWALLOWED it. (Why the need for capitalization there? Beyond the fact that he seemed genuinely interested in a solid food, his throat’s body guard — his gag reflux — also did not step in to toss the waffle out of his mouth like a rejected club goer.)

I originally thought it was a transition. Maybe he had moved into a “step” in life. Hooray! He will eat foods now! Not exactly.

The next food I gave him was mac n’ cheese. That was a strong no. And so were the cut up chunks of banana (But he will eat jars or pureed banana!?). I started to think the Eggo experient was a fluke.

But it wasn’t. He loved those waffles (still does). Then it hit me. The waffle is the only thing that was super crunchy, so maybe I needed to explore that route.

Why didn’t I just do that originally? I was worried about him choking. But, his affinity for crunchy foods quickly changed my mind.

And that was when things really took off here are a few ofcthose crunchy items he loved:

Toast.

French toast sticks.

Crispy chicken.

Grilled cheese sandwiches.

Hashbrowns.

Apples.

Veggie straws.

And, yes, chips. Especially tortilla chips.

If it crunched, he ate it.

Today, he is a little over 21 months. He is still picky, but much, much less so. And yes, feeding has still not been easy (as trying to get crunchy healthy foods into his system has been less than perfect). But, it is a start. And sometimes, that is all this mom needs.

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