We had a delicious Thanksgiving feast yesterday, and I am plenty grateful for it. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy such a wonderful, delicious, home-cooked meal, as there are (of course) many who don’t get such a luxury. And there’s another reason why I’m especially thankful: Becca cooked every ounce of our scrumptious dinner. She consistently fails to give herself enough credit in the kitchen, yet all of yesterday’s fixings (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, corn … and – oh yes – pumpkin pie) were absolutely fantastic.

And yet, Zachary would eat none of it.

I’m hoping this is just a phase our 2-year-old is going through, but if it is, it’s been a long and often perplexing one. The little lad, let’s just say, is more than a tad fussy. I understand that it’s not unusual for youngsters to be picky eaters, but Zach is definitely on the overly selective side.

While Grace was eager to have turkey (though it was a small struggle to get her to finish it) and wolfed down two servings of potatoes – not to mention lots of corn and 1 1/2 rolls (she didn’t like the stuffing, but I didn’t like it, either, until much later in life) – Zachary wouldn’t even sample any of it, much less entertain the idea of a serving. After hearing an emphatic "no" a few times, along with a minor fit, we finally relented and served him his favorite: chicken nuggets.

Bec and I can’t figure out for the life of us how the Z-man hasn’t gotten sick of chicken nuggets by now. There are many days when he has them for lunch AND dinner (maybe the solution to weaning him off them is giving them to him for breakfast, too?), though at least when he eats nuggets he also asks for applesauce (known simply as "ahh" – like the vowel in "mad") to go with it. Then, after he’s done with those, it’s usually a matter of moments before Zach starts begging for his other favorite food: "crackers" (Ritz crackers) or "car crackers" (graham crackers that come in the shapes of the characters in the movie "Cars"). Or, if he’s on to the fact that there are cookies in the house, he’ll make some noise for them, too.

Zach’s diet reminds of me of that of a friend of mine from high school (Chris, are you reading this?) who seemed to somehow subsist entirely on various sweets and pop, yet was always rail-thin and for the most part healthy (though he had numerous allergies, causing me to refer to him as a walking pharmacy). Yet now – I think, anyway – he eats somewhat normally. Maybe this is because he is a dad now and wants his kids to eat things other than, say, chicken nuggets and car crackers.

I suppose it should be said that Zachary also likes pizza and tacos, too. We’re hoping this will lead to breakthroughs eventually in other Italian (what kid DOESN’T eat spaghetti) and other Mexican cuisine (he loves potato oles, of course), but right now we’ll settle for consumption of a vegetable. Chicken nugget and broccoli casserole, anyone?

2 Responses

  1. Amy Nelson

    Gemma’s all too much the same way. She could (and does) live on nuggets and applesauce. At least she likes fig newtons – so I feel there’s a little bit of hope!

  2. Justine

    I am so lucky – my kids always ate everything, usually in mass quantities. People always asked how I got them to eat veggies. It was easy, I just put them in front of them and stood back.

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