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    “I only eat when snacks are present!”

    I’ve been pretty pleased with G’s eating lately. I know I shouldn’t say that too loud, but despite his continuous “feather-butt” syndrome, he’s eating well. It helps, of course, that I’ve figured out a trick: snacks!

    That’s right, each meal-time is accompanied by an army of snacks. If you take a look at my set-up, you’d swear you were in the isle of a grocery store. But, alas, it is needed in order to keep G occupied while I shove fruit, veggie, and meats in his mouth.

    G likes to feed himself, which is great. He’s just not too proficient with the spoon jarred-food eating, so while I let him occasionally wave a spoon around and dunk it in his food (he thinks this is fun), I’m the primary food-delivery device. Meanwhile, G’s job is to shove snacks in his mouth. I line up puffs, or a cheese-wheel to kick off meals. He’ll cram a bite in his mouth, and I follow it up with a spoon. Occasionally he’ll get sick of whatever he’s munching on and will start pointing and grunting to the rest of the snack line-up. This is where he gets choices. I put up two containers and offer him A or B. He’ll either gesture towards one of the packages, or keep pointing to whatever he originally wanted. Either way, we figure it out: he gets what he wants, and I get what I want: a finished meal.

    One benefit to this is that we’re starting to work on choices. While, he can choose until he gets what he wants, it’s improving our communication a bit, and it’s helping him feel in control.

    At daycare, they have a different strategy: bringing in Ms. F. G’s sweet on her, and all other teachers are chopped liver in comparison. She can get him to eat anything. So when he refuses his food there, she comes over to finish lunch. That’s right — my son is already showing off for the ladies. I don’t know if I should be worried about this or not.

    In other “eating” news, G’s school has told us on a few occasions now that he’s far more interested in what the big kids are eating than his own mashed food. I’m cool with that. His school actually provides a Hot Meals program, so I’m thinking we’ll try that. Before signing up officially, I’m gonna see if we can test it out for a day or two. If G’s ready for the big-kid food, we’ll move him to it. Bonus side for me? One less thing I have to pack up for him each day 🙂

    So that’s my strategy. It’s working for us… at least for now.

    3 responses to ““I only eat when snacks are present!””

    1. Rebecca says:

      Have you tried just giving him cut up table food that he can feed himself? Heidi’s been doing really well with just getting food off our plates.. makes it easier for me to get a chance to eat too, I hate the baby food stage where you spend all that time feeding baby while your food is getting cold… She does really well with everything we’ve given her as long as it’s cut into small enough pieces.

      • avalikelava says:

        Yes, I do let him eat off my plate whenever we go out. I just can’t get my act together enough to have dinner ready for him when he needs to have dinner. He eats at 6, I am home about 5:30, which makes it a bit rough. I do let him share as much of our meals as he’s interested in though. I’m also very curious how he’ll do with the Hot Lunch program at daycare. If he actually “eats” the meals (he spits out whatever he doesn’t like the texture/flavor of), then he’s onto Big Boy food.

    2. becoming-mom says:

      Jasper LOVES him some snacks too. In fact, despite the fact that he is completely neophobic about all REAL foods, he’ll try ANYTHING new so long as it is small and hard and looks like a snack! I’ve taken to just throwing snacks in his “snack cup” and he wanders around the house eating them all day long. At least he’s eating something.

      At daycare I’ve instructed them to offer him all the foods that they have at the center just to up our repeated exposure (people say it can take up to 15 times before a new food is accepted!) hoping it will cut down the # of times I have to try it. Of course though he’ll eat things there that he won’t touch at home, but that is a whole other topic 🙂

      Glad you found something that works for you and G though!

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