Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crust, please!

My daughter Sophia is quite possibly the pickiest eater ever in the world. I know, many of you have picky children, and you might think that yours is the pickiest. You are wrong.

When we were at the peak of trying to fatten Sophia up after she got titled "Failure to Thrive" lots of people had excellent suggestions of what to try to help her gain weight.

"Give her scrambled eggs!"

Won't touch them scrambled, or in any other form.

"All kids love avacado, and it's so high in good fats!"

All kids, that is, except for Sophia.


Nope. (Well, now she does . . . a very limited selection, but none back then.)

On and on the list of dislikes went. Fortunately we had three power foods to fall back on that she did like. Peanut butter, oatmeal, and ice cream. A few months ago you could always find Haagen Dazs in our freezer, and it wasn't for John or me. After careful study of the ice cream labels at WalMart, I found that Haagen Dazs had the highest fat content by far. We stuffed Sophia with it after dinner on the days that she didn't eat well, along with spoonfuls of peanut butter.

We've come a long way since then . . . Sophia still doesn't eat eggs or avacado, but she has added chicken, lasagna, and cheese quesadillas to her repertoire, so we do pretty well.

Recently, though, I was finding that instead of eating a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch as she had previously, she would eat half. Or a quarter. Or a bite. And that would be over the course of half an hour or more.


After much experimentation, this is the solution I came up with.

One peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made in full view of Sophia while she is in her high chair. I cut off the crusts, and cut the rest of the sandwich in quarters. (Triangles or squares, she's not picky about the shape. Gotta give me a break somewhere!)

Half the sandwich is put on a plate and given to Sophia, while the other half and the crust remain on the counter, still in full view. I tell Sophia, "When you finish what is on your plate, you can have more!"

She scarfs it down! Five minutes or less, she is ready for more. So I give her another quarter, and again she bolts it down. Last quarter, same deal.

Why so eager all of a sudden? Sophia's motivation is to get to the crust! I've always cut her crusts off as it seemed to maximize her eating the rest of the sandwich, but now she thinks that they are a treat. She starts asking for "Crust, crust" halfway thru the sandwich, but I just tell her that she has to finish the rest of her sandwich first, because "we don't get treats until the sandwich is gone."

Down the hatch!




Just look at the joy on that face while chowing down on her crusts!

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