On Becoming a Discerning Eater

I’ve written before about our decision to skip the purees and give Remy whole foods right from the start. I may have mentioned his eating syle: cramming anything and everything into his mouth as quickly as possible. Other parents warned me that this would change. Four months into the eating adventure, Remy is becoming a discerning eater.

a baby sits in a high chair, resting his head on his arm. He is covered in tomato sauce.

Remy makes it clear when he’s had enough

A month ago Remy couldn’t get enough apples. This week, he will nibble and push them aside. Last week we offered Remy fish and he reluctantly put some in his mouth before pushing it out with his tongue, looking around, taking another pinch between his fingers, and starting the process all over again. Today, for the first time, he ate broccoli florets with gusto.

I have read in several places that babies and young children have great intuition where foods are concerned, and will seek out the nutrients that they need most. I have read not to be concerned when eating habits change drastically and, most importantly, to try not to react one way or another at the foods being chosen. I have read that foods that are being eaten should be replaced even as piles of perfectly good food go untouched.

In principle, I agree with these directives. I want my son to love eating and love food. I am still desperately hopeful that he will put on some weight (still holding steady at the 3rd percentile!). I am hesitant to disregard his own intuition about what foods he needs. And I would feel strange holding him to an “eat everything on your plate” edict when he doesn’t get to select the portions to begin with and when I sometimes don’t follow that rule myself. Still.

Still, I am curious — if your little one is eating people food, how do you approach his or her appetite-mood-swings?

One thought on “On Becoming a Discerning Eater

  1. I didn’t allow ‘mood swings’. I did not offer my children sweet fruits. I did not ask or teach nor use the word like around food. New things were provided, they ate. I, on a list taped to the inside of a cupboard wrote the things they ‘liked’ and seemed to be really gagging on. When adding new foods I offered a meat/protein, a veggie and a silver teaspoon sized amount of a new food. That amount was eaten before the accepted foods on a plate in sight but not in reach was allowed or offered. What most persons called treats or snacks were offered at times different than meals. Eating IS fun and is not rewarded nor punished by sweet taste.

    I do not agree with fruffy choose choose, when we do this, we are training out kids just like pavlov’s dogs to behave badly. My words probably come off in a way that I do not mean them to. I will add that I had 2 autistic kiddos with sensory processing issues, who did NOT have the food issues that even ‘normal’ kids have as refusing and like dislike were not things that I taught them. Someone also pointed out to me that I have a culinary degree and I do not feed my kids pasty flat bland lazy foods, which may have helped me due to the variety of texture, scent and color–which I was able to notice and adjust on the cupboard list without having my kids ‘battle’ with food OR be able to use food as a willful object.


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