Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rice Krispies for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Like most toddlers, Max has his moments of finicky eating. He doesn't like vegetables (unless you count corn?), and he can be quite fickle around mealtime, depending on his mood. Lucky for us, he does not have the texture aversion issues that many Autistic kids have (he has sampled calamari and gone back for seconds), will eat a large variety of fruit, and likes the typical kid fare of fish sticks, chicken nuggets and mac & cheese. The one real struggle we have with him is that the only liquid he will ingest willingly is milk (he refuses to drink juice or water). When he gets stomach flu we have to feed him Pedialyte through an oral syringe, which is, shall we say, challenging.

Max's favourite "food", bar none, is rice krispie squares. In fact, the only way I know he is truly ill, is if he is not interested in this beloved treat. There have been nights, when desperate to get him to eat something, and so he won't wake up in the middle of the night starving and wake the entire house up, that I may have given him one or two rice krispie squares for dinner after he turned up his nose at his usual standbys. Not proud parenting moments on my part, but sometimes you do what you gotta do. I believe that Dooce has gone through similar issues with her daughter (though from what I recall reading, there were days when all her daughter would eat were gummy worms). I know rice krispies aren't nutritious, but I think they are a little better than that.

My friend, Domestic Goddess, recently blogged about making her son homemade chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs. One of her commenters suggested that the only way to go was to be a hard ass and give the kid one choice for dinner. If he didn't eat it, tough luck, no other choices were to be offered and that eventually, he would eat. That type of mentality would never work with Max, for obvious reasons, but I'm wondering if I am just a total softy in the food department? I think it is okay to offer alternatives, the priority is getting your kid to eat. Thoughts?


  1. We are dealing with this as I type. Daniel has gone to his room twice and I handed the reigns over to Steve as he is "on duty". It's so hard. Daniel has been impossibly picky lately with dinner. He won't even eat the usual chicken nuggets, etc.. He has a grilled cheese on crappy bread with fake cheese (american cheese) in front of him right now and he is like..yeah right.

    I can still get him to eat a huge breakfast almost without fail , and he will eat all the fruit I throw at him. I guess it could be worse.

    I just noticed Steve gave him a carrot, applesauce, blueberry muffin I made earlier..oh least it is something !

  2. Sorry to hear you are dealing with the same toddler behaviour that we are, but glad to hear I'm not alone! Blueberry muffins are a fav of Max's as well. Guess I should make him some!

  3. Anonymous12:10 a.m.

    Hey, as the mother of a five year old and a two year old, I have been going through this for several years - the words of Wendy Daycare Goddess ring in my head " they know what they need to eat" she read a study where they put all this food in front of toddlers for a week, and they could pick and choose what they wanted. Over the week, they got in pretty much everything they need to eat. I grew up having some foods restricted and it had the effect of making me steal cookies and hide them under the couch. I don't think the eat this or you're not getting anything approach is really fair, or pleasant for anyone involved. So what if your kids eats cereal 3 meals a day for a couple of days? They probably won't do it for more than 3 years right? If you are really worried about it (and I can't believe I am going to say this) that Jessica Seinfeld book that teaches you how to hide veggies and chick peas in cookies is pretty good. If kids like muffins, throw some zucchinni in with the chocolate chips and there you go! Happy kid, parents comforted that their kids are eating veggies.

  4. Lisa - Jennifer W actually bought me that book and I've made the cookies with chick peas (yummy) and muffins with zucchini. I should get back to baking for Max, he'd like that and it would be better for him than rice krispie squares.

  5. Anonymous3:31 p.m.

    I am a total softy, most of the time. I make dinner and if Leith doesn't eat it, well there are always alternatives. I don't believe in "hard-ass parenting" but sometimes do resort to the "if you don't eat, you don't get a bubble bath" ploy, which works wonders when Leith is in the mood for such fun activities.
    I think we all figure it out as we go along and as long as the child in question is healthy, not skin and bones and has enough energy to do the normal activities of a child their age then you can't be doing that much wrong. Trust your motherly instincts...they've been working just fine for millions of years.

  6. Anonymous3:34 p.m.

    You were shown mercy as a child, and I think you should pass it on regardless of any expert advice to the contrary.



  7. Jennifer - the challenge with Max is I'm not sure he has the comprehension to understand us telling him that if he doesn't eat he won't get something...and if he did, I'm not sure what we would take away ( taking all of your clothes out of your dresser and trying to jam them into one drawer!!).

  8. i'm late on this, but as a child i wouldn't eat anything but PB & J. my mother was concerned and the doc told her simply "let her eat what she wants. if you force her to eat other things she may develop food issues as an adult. PB &J every day for a while WILL NOT KILL HER."

    don't feel guilty if you feed him krispie treats for dinner. feel guilty if you don't feed him anything at all. max has his challenges, and celebrate the fact that he eats, even if it isn't always what you'd like him to.

    being a mom is hard! you're doing a super job! no one is going to haul your ass to the authorities because your kid is eating cereal chewies.

    please kat, give yourself a break... and lots and lots of credit.