Friday, March 8, 2013

Foody Friday

My mom was here for two weeks after Robin's birth and she frequently used my computer. One day, she saw a blog I'd left open, mealtime hostage. She read this post on the Trust Model and we had a very interesting discussion about selective eating in our family. Turns out, Raccoon is the third generation (that we know of). My mom struggled as a child, as did I. My brother's son is also a very resistant eater.

My mom, bless her heart, did everything in that post so although my family ate a limited and repetitious diet, mealtimes were pleasant for us and I don't remember ever feeling anxious about food at home. At other people's houses I hardly ate anything, but thankfully my parents never forced my brother and I to eat. Although I can now eat a variety of foods, when left to my natural state, I don't, and neither does my mom. We'd eat our favorite things over and over again if possible.

Mealtimes for my mom as a child were difficult (she didn't like her food mixed up and her mom often served it that way), but she learned to cope and eat. I also expanded my palate significantly as an adolescent and adult. I learned to eat a lot of things by either mixing a small amount with lots of rice, or combining a tiny taste with bread until I could tolerate it. Some things I even came to like after a long while. I think the key was that I could cope with new foods on my terms, no one was looking over my shoulder or criticizing me. Eating more variety was something I wanted for myself. And I remember a few epiphany moments, just all of a sudden liking things I'd previously avoided, like tomatoes in a sandwich in 7th grade.

But even though I've followed my mom's relaxed attitude about food, serving only things Raccoon likes and never forcing him to eat, I am not having the same success. I feel like staying completely in his comfort zone should mean that he eats a significant amount, even if it's just of his favorites. Ice cream for breakfast? Okay. Chips whenever you want them, sure. Apples, grapes, and cheese for snack everyday, cut just the way he likes. On his sometimes list are french fries, rice with ketchup, meat, orange juice, spaghetti... So why isn't gaining weight and not being so thin easier? When I hug him and feel his ribs, I feel like a failure as a mom.

I was contemplating this as I made myself supper tonight and I came to the conclusion that... Raccoon just doesn't like to eat. For some reason (his allergies maybe?), it's not the pleasant experience that others, including myself, find it to be. Mealtime hostage says that anxiety is a link among most restrictive eaters. I have to admit, Raccoon is extremely anxious in other areas of his life, and has sensory issues (SPD), but he seems to be relaxed enough about his accepted foods. So what's a mom to do?

My mission: Fatten up my boy. I feel like the old woman in Hansel and Gretel, except that I don't plan to eat Raccoon at any point. Just when I feel like he's not too bony, he hits another growth spurt and all of a sudden I can feel his ribs when I hug him. I pray for wisdom, Lord, because I'm not sure what else to try.

Foody Friday is my way of sharing the struggles and joys of having a resistant eater, the category way beyond picky.

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