Monday, October 03, 2011



The Pukesome Mummy vents in The Sunday Times:

"I have a 20-month-old son whom I love dearly, but sometimes, I think I will love him even more if I can feed him his meals intravaneously.

You see, he has a hate-hate relationship with food in that he will refuse to eat most things offered to him, making mealtimes hell for me (and his caregivers, when I’m at work).
The only things he will eat are mee suah, rice, codfish, Chinese-style soups, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, fresh milk, papaya and grapes.

And even then, these things are not always accepted by His Royal Highness. He may eat carrot one day and then eye it with suspicion the next. And while he eats grapes, he spits out raisins.
Arguably, there is something from every food group here, so theoretically, he is not nutritionally deprived. But it would really be nice if he had a less selective diet.

Some days, he will deign to accept the food proffered, only to push the entire load out of his mouth with his tongue while making a face as if to say: “Woman! Why are you feeding me dog turd? Are you out of your mind?”

And these are his better days.

On bad days, he acts like the spoon bearing food actually holds a heap of smouldering coal. Attempting to avoid said coal by squirming violently, he will, at the same time, try to knock it off the spoon. Managing to overturn his bowl of food scores him extra points.

Anything that I manage to force into him would be spewed out projectile-style as in the movie Exorcist, which causes me a lot of grief. He does not care whether pasta sauce can be washed out from his clothes, or that oatmeal on the floor looks like puke and is just as bad to clean up. I care very much however – because I am the one trailing after him with a dishrag.

Usually, a mealtime like this would end up in tears – mine mostly.

It’s not as if I feed him all sorts of horrible mashed up baby food. In my attempt to widen his gastronomic repertoire, I have served up kid-friendly food such as French toast, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal with raisins and honey, eggs hardboiled, soft-boiled, steamed, scrambled and fried, pasta and even mini fishburgers. Stuff that I would eat myself.

Pffft, says my son.

He also declines to eat things favoured by toddlers such as banana, cheese and yoghurt. He even rejects sugar-coated cereal. This surely is not a good sign. What self-respecting toddler rejects sugary cereal?

I also constantly attempt to feed him adult food off my plate. Does he take it? No.

There is no method to his madness.

On some days, he gets by with very little food. Mystifyingly, his severely limited calorific intake does not seem to have dampened his energy one bit. A typical day sees him whirling around the house as fast as his matchstick thin legs can take him, destroying things with superhuman speed and strength. (Case in point: He dragged a big Corningware pot off the kitchen counter and broke it.)

I don't know where he gets his strength from, but it is possible that he gets an extra boost from solar power.

Surely, this food hating toddler is not mine. My husband and I both have healthy appetites and a love for good food. It has been suggested more than once that I may like to consider doing a DNA test. Just in case. Just saying.

After one particularly bad mealtime in which I morphed into psycho bitch screaming “EAT EAT EAT!” while a my temple pulsed violently, I decided to seek answers on how to get him to eat a wider variety of food.

I surfed the net, posted questions on forums and asked my friends, to which these pieces of advice were offered.

“Your toddler is trying asserting his independence.”
Good to know, but this does not solve my problem.

“Try mixing Bovril into his food. I'm told this works wonders.”
This would have worked if not for the fact that my anorexic son has recently started to reject all food that looks dark or black, such as chocolate, red-fleshed dragonfruit and milo.

"Don't turn mealtimes into a battlefield. Be patient."
When one buys a piece of fish fillet for $6.50, a bag of panko for $3, a bag of butter rolls for $2.90 and spends time preparing the food, baking it and assembling bite-sized fish burgers, and all the toddler would eat are two nibbles of the butter roll, one needs to practice serious meditation in order not to lose one’s cool.

"A toddler needs to sample a new food up to 10 times before he will accept it."
It would be great if I can actually get him to open his mouth.

"Don't feed him anything until the next mealtime, and then he'll be hungry enough to eat."
I do not think he feels hunger. I think he is a cyborg.

I was also advised to try feeding him a special nutritionally-balanced formula which will fatten him up. I almost guffawed. My son, who won’t even eat anything that looks and tastes like real food, drinking artificially flavoured formula? In my dreams, I think.

So, for now, my search for a solution continues while my son continues to subsist on love and fresh air.

His father and I are taking him to Hong Kong for a short trip soon and I have no idea where I’m going to find homecooked mee suah there.

Will my toddler starve to death in the land of dim sum and roast goose?

That will be another story. Wish me luck."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Am glad you are back!!

jac

peanut butter wolf said...

Thks Jac! I'm glad to see I haven't lost my one reader yet =)

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog! HAHA! I cannot stop laughing, sorry... lol. I have a toddler too who doesn't like to eat, but you made me feel better... lol. I can just picture your son throwing fits while trying to whack the food off the spoon. My daughter does that ALL the time. The answers some people give, even books, just really are comical. Best of luck to you! ~ Angela

Sujay said...

So beautiful this site.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi BBC,

I no like raisins too.

Auntie MS

karthika said...

A very interesting Blog. Thank you
very much:)