food, Kids will be kids

Why is our 5 year old such a picky eater?

It seems like every day we are lamenting another food that our Little Mister declares he no longer will eat that we must bid adieu to.

About a month ago, he let us know that he no longer liked chicken nuggets. CHICKEN NUGGETS, people! The main food group of the under 10 set (and some adults, let’s be honest). We are no longer keeping these dino-shaped jewels in our home.

Don’t get me wrong, our Little Mister still eats a bunch of foods – and enough of them, no issues there – it’s just that our dinner options are rapidly shrinking.

I will admit that I am part of the problem. I have a traditional sense of what “dinner” should be. I grew up in a house where dinner was a warm meal that consisted of a protein, a starch and a vegetable. And while we may have had the same dinners week after week, we ate a different dinner each night within a week. I never had pork chops two days in a row.

But, perhaps I need to think of  “dinner” as food in my 5 year old’s stomach. If he wants to eat the same thing 3 nights in a row, who am I to say no? He’s still eating, right? And if I have to accept that a PBJ sandwich is “dinner” – even if it was also lunch – then so be it.

Foods our 5 year old will no longer eat

Things we used to eat as a 3 year old that we no longer eat as a 5 year old:

  • Butternut squash (“Blecch!”)
  • Sweet potatoes ((spits them out))
  • String beans (“too stringy”)
  • Zucchini (“Yuck”)
  • Salmon (“I don’t like it.”)
  • Any meat of any kind ((weird chewing face until he lets it fall off his tongue into the plate))
  • Meatballs and meatloaf (“Too yucky”)
  • Macaroni and cheese ((no reason given))
  • Scrambled eggs (“Too eggy”)

Things our 5 year old WILL eat for dinner:

  • Noodles (aka: spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese; though he thinks he doesn’t like butter and doesn’t know I put in the noddles)
  • Chicken soup (but not from a can; only SOME homemade versions and the one the produce store near us makes)
  • Pizza
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pancakes
  • BLTs (well, B and T, hold the L)
  • Hot dogs (super healthy, awesome)
  • Tacos (don’t get excited here, I introduced tacos as crispy taco shells filled with 3 ingredients I know he likes: shredded cheese, tomatoes and black olives. Baby steps)
  • Cheese and crackers

We have a carb-loving kid (maybe we all do!) and while I don’t want him to eat noodles 5 days a week (I know what eating pasta 5 days in a row would do to my body!), it just may have to be. And I’ll continue to cook 2 different dinners (except apparently tacos, which we can all enjoy) until he’s 18, give or take.

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