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Bad Dad Confession: I Give My Picky Eater A Boost With Meal Shakes

kids who are picky eatersMy kids are picky eaters.

I really tried hard to not make it happen, I made all their baby food from scratch, and it included lots of flavour and variety. But something happened along the way… I got lazy, or they got picky, or a combination of both and now I am left with serving up the same thing for dinner every night.

Zacharie, 5, will only eat rice, noodles (plain), veggie dogs, and chicken strips (if I feel like waiting 40 minutes for him to eat 2). He’ll also readily chomp on hand friendly vegetables like carrots, red pepper, and cucumbers.

As an aside, you NEED to see the video of him freaking out when we tried to feed him lasagna. He screamed because the noodles had sauce. It’s awesome.

For breakfast, he will stick to Cheerios or toaster waffles. Lunch at school is the toughest. We send him with yogurt, apple sauce, sandwiches, cheese, and all the good things. Yet it comes home half-eaten, on a good day. He’s a slow eater, and left to his own devices amongst his peers, he’ll chat instead of chow.

He weighs just about 45 pounds, and stands 47 inches tall. That puts him right in the middle percentile for weight, but his height has him near the top of the graph. He’s a tall and skinny kid. He’s tall enough to have 6 yr old pant sizes, but he needs them cinched very tight else they fall right off.

I’d love it if my son had a better diet. I’d love it if he had another 3-5 pounds on him to keep him strong, and healthy. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been buying some meal supplement shakes and pouring off half of it into his morning milk. The idea is its some extra, balanced calories to supplement the rather limited selection of foods he eats.

So I got my back up a bit when a childless pal of mine fired off a tweet today.

Has anybody else seen that instant breakfast shake commercial where the mom says she’s too busy to feed her kids?

My friend wondered how it is that a Mom is too busy to have breakfast in the house for her teen kids, and how a processed liquid meal replacement can be considered acceptable mom decision-making. To be fair, my friend’s parenting experience is limited to looking after a dog and two cats.

I tried to explain that while it seems terrible on the surface, there are times when you can’t wait 45 minutes for your kid to eat their chicken strip and you do what you gotta do.

Another tweep chimed in agreeing it’s a terrible idea for parents to substitute real food with “crap”

“Parenting means making tough choices, not making everything easy for your kids,” they continued.

I devour the “tips for picky eaters” posts I see all around Babble and, in the end, I realize it is about me and my wife needing to be stronger in waiting out the defiant child. They won’t starve themselves over sauce on spaghetti. He will eat a sandwich if he’s hungry enough.

Still, I will find myself taking the path of least resistance to reduce the stress in my day.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

Image via iStockPhoto

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