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Spike TV’s Surviving Disaster Ended My Worries About Picky Eaters

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Surviving Disaster Parenting Tips I was a relatively relaxed first-time mom, but that doesn’t mean that I had no worries. And maybe it’s my genetic heritage talking – my mom is Ukrainian – but months before it was time to start introducing solids to Ben, I started thinking about the importance of feeding a real live baby human being. What would it be like? How much would he need? And – gulp – the whole balanced diet thing. Would my kid be the one who refused to eat anything but cheese sandwiches?

My parents always had a relaxed attitude about food, and I wanted to be the same. They had a “one bite” rule where you had to try things, but you never had to clean your plate, or finish every bite of your vegetables before you were allowed to have dessert. Food never became a fight in our house, and I didn’t want to be fighting over eating with my kids without an extremely good reason. But how would I know when we had reached “a good reason”? When would it be enough, and when would it be not enough, to keep them healthy?

So I did what I always do: I started researching. A lot. This is how I deal with stress, which is why I had a fairly enormous library of parenting books before we were even ready to conceive. So, the books came off the shelf, the Google searches began, and I started reading about kids and diet.

I found some tips that appealed to my laziness quotient, especially making home-made baby food out of whatever we were eating for dinner. Squish peas with a fork? I can do that! I did make some fruit purees to freeze ahead of time – stuff like peaches and plums that I needed to cut up and steam for a few minutes. But for the most part, I knew that my husband and I ate well, so if Ben ate what we ate, he’d be getting a good mix. IF he ate what we ate.

I found some great recommendations about quantities, because man, it’s easy to forget that our notion of “serving sizes” are out of whack for adults, let alone infants and toddlers. My doctor directed me to a brochure that pointed out that the adult guidelines could easily be scaled for children. So, an adult sized meat portion is the size of a palm; a child sized meat portion is the size of the child’s palm. And I looked at my son’s hand and thought, “Wait, that’s IT?! That tiny little palm is one meat serving? His thumb equals a cheese serving? That fist is a serving of fruit?” It was such a tiny, tiny amount.

The same brochure pointed out that little kids balance their diet over longer than a day – so, today he might eat ten fruit and veggie servings, tomorrow fifteen grain servings, the day after five servings of protein. Okay, I can handle that.

At this point, Ben was starting to eat solids – but secretly, I was still fretting. I mean, we were still introducing foods, but what if he just wouldn’t eat something? Like what if my kid hates cheese and yoghurt? Aside from wondering if I should be getting a DNA test to confirm he’s mine, what do I do?

And of all places, the reassurance that everything would be fine came from a Spike TV show called Surviving Disaster.

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16 Comments

  1. Bethany Ramos

    July 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I am right in the midst of picky eating hell, so this made me feel a lot better. Not to whine about my #firstworldproblems, but we also have my son on a very strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet for his eczema at the moment, so his picky eating habits make me extra frustrated…. Don’t throw expensive gluten-free bread on the floor!

    • Theresa Edwards

      July 28, 2014 at 11:50 am

      WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE WHEN IT IS ALSO SO TINY?

    • Bethany Ramos

      July 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

      God, that bread is tiny and comes in a mini loaf!!

    • Frances Frumpy Mumps Locke

      July 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      I know dem feels! We had to do the same thing for my middle daughter. Not fun and expensive as hell!

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    • Katherine Handcock

      July 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      It would be so much harder if you had to worry about allergies/food restrictions – Alicia is picky, but at least it’s easy to find her go-to foods if she’s really refusing everything else.
      I think expensive bread has a thirty-second rule, not a five-second rule 😉

  2. Frances Frumpy Mumps Locke

    July 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    This is great. I lived something like that, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed my neighborhood. No utilities for six weeks, a foot of water in my first floor, no running water, the whole nine. Nothing puts shit in perspective like crapping in a makeshift outhouse for six weeks!

    • Rachel Sea

      July 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I used to work out in the desert two months of the year, and in the early years the only resources were the ones we created ourselves, or hauled out. I lived off tinned ravioli, pineapple and peas, whatever the commiscary turned out that was edible (not much), and the occasional roadkill – because if you total a work truck on a deer, you field dress that shit, and get it back to camp ASAP.

    • Katherine Handcock

      July 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Honestly, I totally loved that show. And yes, it definitely puts things in perspective. We were without power for almost three days in December (which also meant no water, since we’re on a well), and that was tough, but it totally made me realize how lucky we are on a daily basis to have reliable power, heat, and water.

  3. LadyClodia the Modest Rat

    July 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    This makes so much sense. Feeding/eating has always been one of the biggest stresses I’ve had with my boys. But, yeah, with a bit of perspective, they’re doing fine and actually have it way better than most.

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  4. Véronique the Attachment Shark

    July 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    My daughter’s pickiness is a struggle for my boyfriend!!!! My daughter will scarf something down one day and then categorically refuse to eat the same thing a week later. Sometimes she clears her plate at dinner, and sometimes she just takes 2 bites and says she’s done. I’ve learned to not make a big deal out of it – knowing my daughter’s stubbornness, I sense that if I pushed her to eat more she would just eat less to piss me off ;). She’s growing and gaining weight, and she’s not starving, so really, it’s not a big deal. Whenever she tastes something, we give her LOTS of positive reinforcement. And when she gives us back her plate full of food, we just say ok and move on. Still, sometimes my boyfriend starts worrying, and I have to remind him that she’s growing, so really it’s not a big deal.

    • Katherine Handcock

      July 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Sean has the same struggle – his family was an “eat everything on your plate” family, so it just goes counter to everything he knows to let a kid walk away from the table after two bites of chicken and a little milk.
      I think if kids are growing well, chances are good they’re eating enough. Of course you still want to encourage them to try stuff, but think about the diets everyone lived on even fifty years ago – that was a lot of plain meat, potatoes, and canned peas 😉

  5. CrazyFor Kate

    July 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I really liked this article, even though I don’t have kids and don’t have to deal with picky eating yet (well…except for my yuppie friends on new diets every week!). Plus that disaster show looks totally awesome. Some nice ideas here.

    • Katherine Handcock

      July 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks! And yes, Surviving Disaster is very fun 🙂

  6. Pingback: 10 States Not Prepared To Protect Kids In Disasters

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