Nutrition and the Picky One

I have a very picky 10 year old daughter. She was always picky. I remember feeding her baby food and hiding the vegetables under the meat or pasta. She would carefully inspect the spoon for the tiniest piece of vegetable and refused to open her mouth if she saw or imagined one.

Life was so much easier then. It was easier to hide the vegetables when I was in charge of the spoon.

We have had so many battles over eating. Tears, yelling, we even had episodes where my child made herself throw up on the table. Not some of my fondest memories. We used vitamins and supplements and had numerous conversations with the pediatrician. There was a time she wouldn’t each anything that looked like it might have once been friendly to a fruit or vegetable. She wouldn’t even touch them to help unpack groceries. It was insane.

She’s a bit better now. She knows that she is required to try everything on her plate. I might not always remember to put a small (miniscule) serving of vegetable on her plate, but she knows that if it’s there she has to eat it. There generally isn’t even negotiation anymore. Oh, those things were fun. Arguing over exactly how much of the offending food she would have to eat. Every molecule was a battle. Now she usually just resigns herself and eats it.

Even though it’s better, it’s still not good. My daughter doesn’t eat a wide enough variety of foods to get all the nutrients she needs. And she’s growing fast. At 10, she’s already 5’4″. She’s grown at least 6″ in the past year. She’s the tallest girl in her grade and she’s one of the youngest as she started school at 4 years old.

In addition to the nutrition requirements for all that growth, she also is becoming really athletic. She has liked playing basketball for years, but this year she’s going at it. The high school coach noticed her and wants her playing all year round. On the coach’s suggestion, my girl is playing for 2 different leagues this fall and another 2 leagues this winter. The past 2 Saturdays she had 3 hour practices. Once stuff starts in earnest, she’ll be having about 12 hours of practice each week. In addition, she wants to start running.

Her best friend joined the cross country team and my daughter wants to be able to keep up to run 5ks with her. Last night, while I knocked off a couple of miles on my treadmill, my daughter asked me to sign her up for all the 5Ks I’m doing between now and December (there are eight 5Ks). That’s going to require a lot of training and a lot of fuel! And money, at $20/each, that’s a lot of money.

I’d like to say I have figured out how to get my girl to eat a balanced diet. Like many other kids, she’d live on pasta and pizza and soda and chips if she could. But something special happened the other evening. I actually got her to eat a (small) bowl of my curried sweet potato millet soup. I couldn’t believe it. She didn’t even complain. The green bean casserole I made the other day was still out of the question, but my girl ate sweet potato millet soup. What progress we have made!

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2 thoughts on “Nutrition and the Picky One

  1. Every little step counts!! Perhaps you could try getting her involved in menu planning. Look at books like “survival for the fittest” and “fit food”, and take her love of sports as a motivator for a great diet. Good luck!!

    • Thanks for the advice. Menu planning doesn’t work, she just tries to plan pizza every night.
      she has decided that she loves guacamole! Mostly because she loves tortilla chips but her, avocados are great.

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