The most frequently discussed topic at my support group – when I get the chance to go – is eating habits.
The Monster is a very picky eater. He has perhaps five, six things he’ll eat in most restaurants, but if it’s not exactly the same as how he gets it at home, he’s not likely to eat it.
For instance, he refers to pizza as “Papa Johns” if you don’t prompt him for ‘pizza’ (that habit is slowly being broken). If it does not look like that company’s pizza, in general, he won’t eat it. He is tolerant enough of variation to a point – he’ll eat New York style pizza from the pizzeria near my mother’s house, but not flat-bread style like they have at many restaurants. Likewise, he isn’t smitten with grilled hot dogs, but he’ll eat one if it’s not too crunchy – he prefers his microwaved.
So tonight, the wife made a breaded chicken dish. The Monster does eat chicken – he loves nuggets and chicken fingers, and he’ll happily eat rotisserie chicken when it’s offered to him. Because, to us, it looked a bit like cut-up chicken nuggets, we thought he’d eat it.
No. No dice. He would not even acknowledge that it was chicken and ran off for a bit to play before we called him back to the table, and placated him with a banana. In the meantime, the wife started to feed pieces of the chicken to the baby.
So, I tried again, this time spearing a piece on a fork and reminding the Monster that It. Was. Chicken. He opened his mouth, and let me feed him the one little piece… and then ate the rest himself. Even used the fork when I prompted him that he shouldn’t use his fingers.
I just wish getting him to eat other things was so easy…