little miss selective eater

Here we are, almost 5 months since I wrote the post below:

I am happy to report lunch has been regularly eaten.  I also bought a cold thermos so Bee can take milk with her to school.  Her lunch is now narrowed down to only 1 main item, 1 snack and 1 fruit or veggie.  She has pancakes or waffles a few times a week, and in between them are sticky rice and meatballs.  It does take a little more time to make her lunch as we have to make them !  I wish she likes sandwiches, where I can just assemble them together and save time.  But in a way I am glad she isn't eating processed food.

For breakfast, I still make her pancakes !  2 eggs, a couple spoons of flour, milk and a bit of cane sugar.  Her sister and her would gobbled them up.  They each have a cup of milk to finish off the meal and breakfast is done !  Some day she would change it up and have cereals but for now, pancakes are her favorite.

For dinner, for a while, Bee only wants rice and cucumber and broccoli.  I was worried and asked my friends for their thoughts as they once struggled with food with their daughter.  My friends was telling me that Bee isn't getting enough nutrients it might hinder her development.  They suggest I keep a journal of what she's eating.  I decided to track Bee's food, of what she's consuming each day.  Turns out she drinks a lot of milk (lunch and after school) = lots of fat (just like my friends' kid), meaning she's filling herself up with milk.  She also eats a big snack after school.  Sometimes she would have a small bowl of chicken with udon (more like a meal than snack), sweet potatoes crackers, or 2-3 banana muffin after school.  She really likes banana muffin and I don't mind her eating it because it's made with healthy ingredients like oatmeal, banana and egg (recipe here).  But I need to limit it down to one muffin so it doesn't ruin dinner.

I want to encourage Bee to eat more at dinner time so I've been giving her a smaller snack and try to avoid milk before dinner.  She really likes steamed chicken so we now have it about 4 times a week.  Free range chicken steamed with skin on ! Bee would have the whole back side with thigh and the wings.  We also have 1 night with fish, one with shrimp or pork, and one where we either we go out or order in.  If we go out with the 3 kids, we usually have Nandos chicken :-)  as it doesn't take too long to wait for food and it's pretty tasty !  Order in is usually either Japanese or Greek and sometime we have Pizza !!!  When I was pregnant with Nolan, I crave pizza and pop all the time.  Even now at 3 months postpartum, I still crave them.  I try not to eat them often, like once every 2 months.

Sweet potatoes crackers (with chia and flax seeds), pandan sticky rice, cucumber and strawberry slices for lunch

Currently Bee eats meat and egg pretty much everyday, along with rice, fruits and veggies.  She has milk for breakfast, lunch, and after dinner.  I am still working on getting her to eat yogurt and pasta with sauce.  I also try to get her to eat peanut butter but she's just not in to it.  She likes cashew, pistachio and macadamia nuts so she'll have a handful of them here and there.  Bee doesn't gain a lot of weight but she did grew a little bit.  That counts for something right ?  She just turned 6 and about 35 lbs.  She is very slim but she's eating, drinking and sleeping well.  I figure her active life contributes to her slim-ness !  This girl doesn't like to sit much.  She skips and runs instead of walking.  She even play with lego standing up !  After school each day, her sister and her would get between 30 min. of play time where they pretty much like to run up and down a hill.  On sunny day they also play in our backyard for at least an hour after dinner.  On the weekend, we take them out to the park or indoor playground.  Our kids play so much so any fat they gained doesn't stick around because they burn them off !  Even as I type this, Bee is skipping from one end of the house to the other singing !

If you have a picky or selective eater, try to track what they eat for a week.  This way it helps you to have a clear picture of what and how much your kids are eating.  It will help you see what they are consuming too much of or not eating enough of.  You can then adjust accordingly so they eat a variety of food each day.  At the end of the day, if your kids are active and generally healthy, don't fuss or stress over it.  When you fuss too much it will become a power struggle between you and your kid and no longer just about food.  I read it somewhere that there are a few things in a kid's life that they have control over, and food is one.  If we focus too much on getting them to eat this and that, meal time will become a power struggle and the kid might just refuse to eat to exercise their power !!!  I now try to relax when it comes to dinner time.  I would offer Bee food, usually she gets 2 options, and I let her exercises her rights and power by selecting what she wants to eat from what I offered.  It's been less of a struggle for us because cutting back less snack and milk = a hungry kid :-)  Sometime she would scream "can I please eat first I'm so hungry" !!!