My son loves to snack. He avoids "regular" mealtimes by constant grazing. That's cool, I'm down. That is ideally how I like to eat too, but I have this creature called Hubs to feed and he likes dinner after work. And then I eat with him, and then we have wine... and that's why I'm going to have a beer belly forever. Oh well.
But Little Man has more fun up his sleeve than just not wanting to sit down for dinner. His food has several LM approved requirements to be considered before tasting:
* It must be completely dry. There are very few exceptions to the dry rule. He will eat bananas, only if I hold it in the peel and he can take bites off it. He will eat applesauce out of a squeeze pouch, but not off a spoon. Although, counter to that rule is that he will eat the applesauce IF we pin him down, hold his head, and force him to try a bite. Then he will take future bites ONLY during that meal. Even if we take a break from applesauce til dinner, that process starts up again. And yes, I've done it more than once out of desperation, because dammit I KNOW HE LOVES APPLESAUCE. Other than that, if a food is wet and he touches it, it will immediately be tossed to his left. Chicken nuggets? Awesome. Slightly soggy nugget that does not pass the dry test? To the left.
* To further clarify the spoon rule, nothing from a spoon will go into his mouth without a full body hold. Soup? HAH. Ice cream? NOPE. Won't even open his mouth. I've decided nothing on a spoon is worth that much effort.
*If it is bigger than a Cheerio, attempts will be made to crumble it no matter what it is. Frosted Mini Wheats become Shredded Wheat. Fig Newtons become fig jam and mush. Bread is peeled apart into smaller and smaller crumbs until it looks like we're feeding ducks in the living room.
*Protein is in the form of nuggets (chicken, very rarely fish), peanut butter, grilled cheese in tortillas or bread. That is it. See the above rules. Also, sneaking meat into a grilled cheese sandwich or tortilla is not allowed, he will pull apart the pieces during Step 3 (crumbling) and you will be discovered.
*Fruit snacks are the ultimate favorite food. They trump all other treats. He does not discriminate brand, size, shape, or level of staleness.
*If you manage to get something in his mouth somehow, but it does not follow one of the rules listed above (say, a little ball of rice you've disguised as a bread ball), he will stick out his tongue, and scrape it off. That is embarrassing in say... a nice Japanese restaurant. :)
To sum up, Little Man eats:
-Nuggets (specifically the kind from Costco in the huge bag)
-Grilled cheese/cheese tortillas
- Food from a squeeze pouch
And that's it. All day, every day. I buy healthy granola bars, whole grain breads, and try to give him lots of "better" cereals and crackers. Lately there has been a huge increase in the amount of baby foods that come in pouches, which has been nice (although they are insanely pricey for so little food.)
He drives me batty. I love to cook. I would feed him amazing gourmet meals if I could. Dammit I would love to just give him grapes and a hot dog!!! (Cut up into safe pieces ya worrywarts). But I tried making homemade nuggets for him and they did not pass Rule #1, so they went to the dog.
So when I'm out with you and I complain that Little Man doesn't eat anything, or you see me feeding him two bread rolls at a restaurant and calling it dinner... Just know I'm trying. I swear, I'm trying.