Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Toddler Only Eats Chicken Nuggets

Ever since Collin was born, I have been pretty careful about what goes into his mouth.  I was adamant about breastfeeding him (which thank the Lord I was able to do), I really wanted to make his baby food, but working full time I opted to buy the best quality and mostly organic baby food.  And when he started eating finger foods his early favorites were bananas, green beans, carrots, cheese, corn, sweet potatoes, grilled pork chops, whole wheat bread, and baked apples.  Sounds like a great start to healthy eating habits, right??

Well somewhere along the way I decided that it would be a good idea to share some of my chick-fil-a nuggets with him…pretty harmless, right??  Wrong!

He loved them so much, that when I got a great coupon in the mail for frozen chicken nuggets I thought “what the heck, he loves them, and a nugget here and there isn’t the end of the world.”

Fast forward to about a month later and you have tonight's series of events…

Collin gets hungry before dinner & is offered grapes, yogurt, applesauce, cheese, carrots, strawberries, and green peas as a snack.  He eats a few bites of yogurt then changes his mind and refuses anything else.

While making dinner I offer him a few whole grain sweet potato snacks.  He eats a few bites but mostly just crumbles them up into tiny little pieces and feeds them to the dog.

Dinner is ready and Collin refuses any of the chicken & veggie stir-fry or rice that I have made for dinner…probably shouldn’t have given him the sweet potato snacks while cooking.

Collin plays while Son & I eat dinner.

After dinner we are all in the family room playing & Collin gets fussy…probably hungry.  I offer him the same list of alternatives above, but he just shakes his head “NO”, and looks longingly at and reaches toward the freezer door…we know what he wants.

Determined not to give in, I take him out of the high chair and return him to the living room to play with us.  He continues to fuss…Son says “But, he’s a growing boy, mommy” and that’s all it takes…out come the chicken nuggets and Collin quickly downs four of them.

So now I am up way past my bed time Google-ing “picky eater” and “meal ideas for toddlers” and “please help me, seriously, my child only eats chicken nuggets”.  The advice I have found so far includes generally one of the following 2 approaches:

1.  Just don’t give him the nuggets & he will eat something else when he gets hungry.


2.  Just let him have the nuggets but put other stuff on his plate too and eventually he will try the other stuff.

The good news is that I don’t think that he understands that the nuggets are in the freezer during the day, and thinks that they magically appear at dinner time because **so far** he eats a banana for breakfast and pretty much anything that I give him for lunch.  I know that by writing this that tomorrow he will demand the nuggets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks…

Tomorrow I am going to make his favorite (sweet potatoes) at dinner for him so hopefully we can go one night without the nuggets, and then we can see where to go from here.  The first day of withdrawal is the hardest part of any rehab, right??

However, also tomorrow we have a trip planned to the grocery store and I really need some frozen chopped bell pepper…but I can’t remember if the Tyson nuggets are on the same aisle as the frozen veggies and I am afraid that if Collin sees the nuggets during the day time he will realize that I have been hiding them from him and throw a tantrum in the middle of Publix!!

Any advice about getting him to eat any healthy food or suggestions on other foods to try is greatly appreciated!!


Becca said...

We grew up eating cookies and ice cream for breakfast pretty much daily and we turned out fine.....right!?!?!

Son and Julie said...

Good point...cookies & milk was my daily breakfast for the first probably 18 years of my life :)

Spencer and Emily said...

hahaha I can see Son saying that! :) Spencer and I got a laugh out of your post! Good Luck!

Rachel said...

My parents went with option one- when we got hungry enough, we ate what mom prepared. I could totally hear Son saying that little gem of a quote :-) Let us know how it goes and what works.... one thing I know, Collin will not go hungry for very long because he is a growing boy.

Elizabeth said...

ummmmm YES ya'll DID eat cookies and milk for breakfast - that's where I got the idea from! love it! JM does this too...I have found that by putting lots of choices on his tray, EVENTUALLY he will eat the healthy items that we prefer him to have. sometimes it helps to not look or talk to him - i know it's weird. but he has ALWAYS been picky with eating! I personally don't think he is old enough for the "if he doesn't want dinner, then he can go to bed hungry" - all of my friends who have tried that ended up with HUNGRY kiddos in the middle of the night...maybe when they turn 3? let me know how it goes!