|Beets, on the way to becoming beet chips.|
My son humbled me.
From the first time he started solids he was picky. At six months if he didn't like something, he would clamp his mouth shut and there was no way to get anything in there. I was frustrated, complaining to my girlfriends and anyone who would listen. Everyone said that he'd grow out of it and I believed that. I was embarrassed. One of the things I was most committed to as a new parent completely backfired on me.
Things got a bit better, but then they got worse. Way worse. It got to the point where his list of acceptable foods had maybe five things on it. People still told me not to worry. This time I didn't believe them. Everyone gave me advice. Much of it I had tried many times before with no luck. Some of it was simply nonsense. People laughed at me. I got offended; a taste of my own medicine, I guess. I knew that I hadn't been a parent for that long and wasn't an expert, but I also knew that nobody else spent their days with my child. Nobody else knew what our mealtimes were like. Nobody else saw the tantrums and the choice to go to bed hungry day after day.
This pickyness didn't seem right to me. Something in my gut said that his eating came from a deeper issue. I think I'm right. Two people pointed me in a direction that I think will help our family. I have a new attitude towards things and a new form of patience with my son. He's eating a few more foods now (unfortunately, not those beet chips I made). The older he gets the more we can negotiate. I'm hopeful that his eating will get better.
I'm fairly certain my sons abnormal relationship with food is a part of a larger sensory processing issue. I'm taking care to involve him in more sensory types of play (tactile and auditory) and have started monthly meal plans for lunch and dinner to ensure he gets a good balance of his acceptable foods as well as opportunities to try new ones, if he so chooses. I'm going to try my best to ignore the eating issue until he is older and communicating better.
That's where we're at.