Picky eaters

 

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced as a mom isn’t dirty diapers or sick kids. I have a natural maternal instinct so the sick kids I can handle. The dirty diapers comes with being a parent. What my challenge is….. Picky Eaters!

My oldest didn’t use to be a picky eater when she first started eating solid food. She was actually a vegetarian for 6 months. Wouldn’t touch anything meat related. So that made me a vegetarian for 6 months because there was no point in fixing two meals and financially it wasn’t worth two separate meals.

But then something changed when she was 2. She would only eat chicken nuggets, pizza, eggs, and pizza rolls. it was a battle to get her to eat anything else. Sometimes she would eat spaghetti but not the meat. She would pick that out. When I was working all the time, it was just easier to cave and give in to her pickiness than to actually fight to get her to eat something else. I was exhausted.

But when I became a home mom, I had more time to try to work things in. But if she could see it, you would forget about it. So there was half the battle. I know that you can shred cooked broccoli and hide it in mac n cheese but if she saw a speck of green she wouldn’t eat. That is where shakes came into. I could make a banana smoothie with spinach, put it in a cup that you couldn’t see thru with a straw and she loved it.

But I couldn’t hide everything and it got really hard. She loved carrots. But only the sweet kind you get from a Japanese restaurant. So I could use those and slowly decrease the sweetness and she didn’t know.

But as she got a little older and we were preparing for her to start her first year of school, we knew that if she wanted to eat school lunch she would have to expand her taste buds. And to do so, whenever I cooked food, she would have to eat a small bowl of what I cooked and if she didn’t like it she could find something else for dinner which usually consisted of pizza rolls, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets. However, to her surprise, she sometimes liked what I had cooked and asked for a second bowl. There are sometimes, I know she won’t eat what I cooked but per our agreement, she has to try it. I never give her too much because if she doesn’t like it then it is wasting food.

It probably isn’t the best way to fight the picky eater syndrome. But it is a start. She is seeing that there are other foods that she really likes, like chicken pie and lasagna soup. I even let her help meal plan. Where in the 60 meals I choose she gets to pick 10 of her all time favorites that are not grilled cheese, breakfast, chicken nuggets or pizza. Then of course we do have pizza nights all the time. Maybe twice a month. But we don’t order out pizza. That is for special occasions.

Nope. We sit together at the kitchen table and make our own pizza. And we make it stuffed crust. Even the two year old loves to help put cheese and pepperoni on the pizza.

The picky-ness hasn’t ended yet. But we are working on it. One meal at a time.

Is preschool important

 

With our first kid, we didn’t go the preschool route because we were in between houses and weren’t in the school district that we wanted her to go to kindergarten. With the situations that we were in, we didn’t have the resources to get the most out of preschool.

However, that has not stopped her from learning. We worked with her when I was pregnant with our youngest. We went over sight words, both reading and writing them. We went over songs and make believe was always our favorite past time. We play games. We role played. We did a lot of things right. And it has showed so much with this past year she was in first grade doing second grade work. I am so very proud of her as a mother should.

But, we are in the district now that we want our kids in. So why wouldn’t we put our youngest in preschool in two years? This isn’t a post about why we shouldn’t do preschool. It is just a discussion. Just a thought process. I actually found two great articles that describe the importance of preschool and I think I will be using them in my decision.

Here are these two links

Why Preschool is Important

The 13 Key Benefits of Early Childhood Education: A Teacher’s Perspective

I have always been an advocate for teachers. I do not think that they are paid enough. If you break down the hours they work and how much they’re paid once or twice a month. It is less than minimum wage. And if you think about it. When you wanna go out, you hire a baby sitter. That baby sitter doesn’t teach your kid anything. They just watch your kid for a few hours. You pay that babysitter more than the minimum wage. I know when I baby sat in my teens, I was paid about 8-10 an hour. Minimum wage where I am is 7.25. And teachers, who are teaching your kids valuable information, working to shape the future of your child are barely making minimum wage. It is ridiculous. But that is a different topic.

 

My mother in law is a teacher. So I know the struggle that she goes through.

But with her being a teacher. That provides me some advantages if we don’t go the preschool route.

Each child learns different. Which is why I am having a difficult time with deciding if we should do the preschool route. The good thing is, I have about 2 years to decide.

My oldest can be a timid child. She shows a lot of fears when it comes to new things. She approaches them cautiously. Kind of like me. However, my youngest shows no fear at all. She will jump in head first. She has done things that her sister didn’t do at that age.

It was easy teaching my oldest to write and read and math. But will my youngest be harder? She is stubborn. She is my mini me. So I am wondering if that will cause teaching her to be harder than it was for her sister. I mean I hope not. But it could possibly happen. Another scenario is that she wants to be just like her sister (which is how and why she does so much now to do just what her sister is) that it will be easy for her to learn these things. I mean she’s 2 and she’s already trying to sing the abc’s It is not completely coherent but you can tell what she is singing.

I think education is completely important. I guess that I will have to see how things go before making a hard decision. Maybe try teaching her things between now and preschool time to see. I know either way, Preschool would benefit her. It’s more about being emotionally ready. Both her and myself.

Only time will tell.

Taking the pacifier

So I have yet to see a baby that has not ever had a pacifier. At some point in time. My oldest made things so easy. She took herself of the pacifier when she was six months. No lie. One day she just didn’t want it anymore. And that was it. No more pacifier. But she did have a security stuffed animal that she used whenever she was teething.

It was amazing.

And I had hopes that it would be that easy for the second child to do the same.

But boy was I wrong. Taking the pacifier away from the baby was a very long and rough road. It was incredibly difficult and time consuming.

However, it also wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be when I look back at it. Whenever the pacifier would disappear, she would throw the worst fit until we would go find them. And it wasn’t always the easiest tasks because she is good at losing things and being a baby she couldn’t exactly always remember where they were.

We went about it in such a way that was strenuous. We would talk about taking it away and that was just it. We kept talking about it. We didn’t actually act on it til I just was done and hid it. I put it up where she couldn’t see it but also where I could get to it if I broke down and gave it back.

She was almost two when I took it away. And I really wanted to do it soon because I didn’t want the pacifier to cause her teeth to deform. I was really lucky that she didn’t start sucking her thumb because that would cause a deformity as well. However, she has started biting her nails….which isn’t bad but isn’t good either.

 

So I had one kid who willingly quit using the pacifier at 6  months and then I had one kid who had to have the pacifier hidden away at about 18 months.

 

So when do you think the pacifiers should be taken away?