Honestly, I blame Charlie's pickiness when it comes to food on myself. He is giving me what I gave my parents. I was a horribly picky eater growing up. I lived off Spaghetti O's for years and didn't touch a salad until I went off to college. In a similar fashion, Master Charles' diet consists of chicken nuggets, PB&J and macaroni and cheese with an occasional grilled cheese thrown in for variety. I've attempted to introduce new foods, but he will Not Even Try Them. I can't even get him to keep the new foods on his plate, let alone into his mouth!
I'm learning to pick my battles with Charlie. I want meal-time to be an enjoyable time, not a fight to get food into his mouth. Charlie is small, but healthy. He eats fruit, an occasional slice of bell pepper and he gets his protein in the form of cheese, peanut butter and those damn chicken nuggets. He gets a daily multivitamin, as well, in an attempt to cover all of the bases. I occasionally try to trick him into trying a new food and was able to do so successfully today. Chris and I had turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch; Charlie asked for a cheese sandwich with hummus (an odd food for such a picky eater to like, but hey, it's protein). While making Charlie's sandwich, I ripped up some turkey, hid it among the cheese slices and gave him his lunch. He devoured it and was shocked when I told him! Woohoo! I tried to pass some fish off as chicken nuggets at dinner tonight, but he didn't fall for that one.
When Charlie was a baby, he ate everything we fed him. But, we only fed him baby food. And, because he didn't have teeth until he was around 8 months old, I didn't start him on the chunkier baby foods, thinking that he couldn't eat it without teeth. I think the lack of chunky foods (and a HORRID gag reflex) factors in to his pickiness as well. He tends to not like different textures.
This time around, as with Charlie, I had planned to breastfeed. Because of Isaac's battle with RSV and pneumonia at 12 days old, I decided to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months to give him the full benefits of my milk and to hopefully give him a bit more of my immunity. I am so excited that I was (and still am) able to do so because I was devastated when my milk started to dry up when Charlie was around 4 months old. I cried when I had to give Charlie formula!**
I was nervous that delaying the introduction of solids would lead us down the same road as Charlie, but our doctor agreed with me and so far, so good. When I took Isaac in for his 6-month check-up, I was given the go-ahead to start solids. Our doctor told us only honey was off-limits and we could/should give him table food instead of baby food. She literally said to me, "Things are different the second time around."
And they have been different! Isaac is like a vulture every time we put food on his tray. It doesn't matter what the food is as long as he can get it into his hands and mouth as fast as he can. He's had peanut butter and jelly, toast, bagels, English muffins, eggs, fish, hamburger, buffalo!, chicken, turkey and cheese, frozen peas, bananas, melons.... anything we're eating, I give to him. And it's so much fun! It's amazing to watch how quickly his hand-to-mouth coordination is improving and to watch him learn to deal with the different textures of foods. That boy loves his food and is eating more than Charlie! Pretty soon, Isaac's going to be Charlie's "younger" brother, not his "little" brother!
**On a side note, I have nothing wrong with formula; it's just not what I wanted to do for my babies. When my milk dried up, I felt like I had failed my child. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. Growing up, I watched my mother breastfeed my younger siblings and my best friend's mom was a lactation consultant, so I had breastfeeding pounded into my brain. I think breastfeeding is a wonderful and beautiful thing! Formula is expensive and what else can I use these things for?! :) Breastfeeding versus formula-feeding is a very hot topic. Everyone tends to think their own way is the only way, but really, whatever works for you and your family is the best way. I do feel that everyone should give breastfeeding a chance, but if it doesn't work for you, then find something else that does. What's important is that you find what makes you and your baby healthy and happy!