At Atticus's parent/teacher conference last week, his teachers showed concern over the fact that Atticus has not once been willing to eat the snack that is offered at school. When they asked him what kind of snacks he eats at home, he answered, "Chinese broccoli." (Last year when his teacher ran into the same issue and asked the same question, he answered, "Paneer.")
We do not eat Chinese broccoli and paneer as snacks in our house. I promise. And I know both of those foods are nutritious and a sign of good food management on our part.
But here's my problem. The kid won't eat but a small handful of foods and it is driving me insane. I have tried everything to introduce (a nice word for literally trying to force down his throat) diversity into his diet, but it's not happening. And surely, yes, we could argue that Chinese broccoli and paneer are diverse and they are, but I mean diverse variety.
I have tried everything. I am at my wit's end. Here is the list of what I have to work with:
LIST of FOODS ATTICUS WILL EAT
Flat Cheese (Colby Slices)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Plain Spaghetti Noodles
Chicken Noodle Soup
Sticky Chips (Chips and Cheese)
Celery and Carrots with Dip
Pretzels and Chips
Carrot Fruit Smoothie
What I have listed here is the entire list of food my four-year-old son is willing to eat. Okay, not entire. I did not include the myriad of sweets he is willing to eat as those are many and not the point. This list is literally every food I have to choose from when making his three meals a day. Notice, while peanut butter and cheese are on this list, bread is not.
And maybe this list looks long to you, but please consider that three times a day, seven days a week equals 21 meals a week, not including snacks. Also, please note what is not on this list: pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, lunch meat, bread, spaghettios, meatballs, bologna, pretty much any other food a kid will normally eat …
Please. I beg you. Any suggestions? I have tried the following:
1. Only served the food that the adults in the house are eating and waited for hunger to do its job. (NOTE: It is a lie when they say children will not let themselves starve.)
2. Hidden new foods in foods he approves. (NOTE: My son is very smart and very particular and head-bangingly stubborn.)
3. Bribed him with treats or iPod time or toys. (NOTE: Somewhat limited and positive results.)
4. Screamed at him. (NOTE: This never feels good or right, but in the moment …)
5. Sent him to his room. (NOTE: Our current strategy, and by strategy I mean what I'm doing to avoid a real come-to-Jesus moment with him).
Suggestions? Advice? Offers to reprogram him? Is every kid like this?