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Weaning – Why Did My Boy Completely Break The Mould?

NEWS FLASH!! Last night my son ate peas for the first time.

Ok, so it’s not ‘end of recession’ or ‘world peace’-type news, but it’s BIG if you have a fussy eater and it was such a momentous occasion in our house that I felt it worthy to write about.

weaning-son-broke-mouldWhat makes a good eater?  Is it what they are exposed to from an early age or is it genetic?  Of my three children, the eldest is by far the better eater as she will try anything; she has an interest in different foods, especially if they come from another country.  When it came to weaning though, the champion of champions was my second child, who would regularly eat us out of house and home.

Cue child number three; the boy who breaks the mould.  Is it because he is a boy and I am used to raising girls or is it because he is the third born and I have given up trying to force feed him fruit and vegetables?

I weaned my eldest with the enthusiasm of a first time mum who has the time to devote all her attention to making sure that her little darling is given the best quality home-made food and healthy snacks.  Second time around I blamed the baby food market for the fact that there was suddenly a much wider choice of good quality ready prepared baby foods to choose from and only felt a little bit guilty for giving her these instead of something I made myself.  By then, of course, if big sister was having a biscuit, there was no hiding it from my little hungry monster, so exposure to other ‘more exciting’ foods occurred at an earlier age.

When it came to weaning my son, I’m sure I made a few ice cubes of puree, but seriously, you do not get a lot of return from a whole bag of apples and pears; it seemed hardly worth the effort when, again, the baby food market had become even better.  That said, I tried to give him all the usual types of finger foods that toddlers love – raisins, grapes, peas, sweet corn, Satsuma’s, cherry tomatoes, blueberries; you name it, I tried it.  But no, he would rather have a chocolate spread sandwich.  Sometimes when he was teething, it was the only thing he would eat, so of course I gave it to him.  Looking back, it is in these situations that I would have been most strict with the girls, with the ‘you eat what you’re given or there’ll be nothing else’ policy, but I didn’t do it with my son.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  If I were to make a list of the fruit and vegetables my son will eat, it would actually make up a substantial list that is worthy of a balanced diet.  I guess we tend to focus on the negative though and worry about what they won’t eat rather than what they will.  Last night the subject of whether my son would eat his peas was never raised, as it usually is, because I never bothered to put them on his plate.

It was to our utter amazement then that he actually asked if he could have some and then voluntarily ate them; a mixture of initial disgust, followed by surprise shown on his face and a ‘more please’ request.  Was it because we never mentioned them in the first place and he saw that he was missing out on something that we all had?  Or have we turned a corner and our little three year old is now willing to try new things?  I better not get too enthusiastic as it may just have been a one off fluke, but I live in hope.  Sweet corn next…..

Nicola Young

Nicola Young is a freelance copywriter, with experience in all aspects of commercial writing, including articles, newsletters, press releases and web content. She also writes young adult and children's fiction and regularly blogs about her own family life.
Feel free to connect with Nicola on: Facebook | Twitter

31 comments

  • When my son was little he was extremely picky but as he’s aged (he’s now 18) he likes a wide variety of foods. Foods I never would have thought he’d try in a million years. It helps to introduce new foods in a fun way and explain that if he tries things at least once he may like them. You just never know. Now it’s his sisters that are picky. Go figure!

    • I imagine having an 18 year old son you must need a lot of food in the house, especially when they bring friends home!

  • Oh I have picky eaters as well. Pea’s we have not conquered just yet but I’m trying. So funny how they all have their own selection of foods they will and will not eat.

    • I would rather he eat tomatoes to be honest, or peppers, as to him a salad constitutes just cucumber and occasionally some raw carrot.

  • I have a picky eater, who sometimes will sit at the table with nada in front of her because she refuses to eat anything the rest of us are having. It is hard. So celebrating a success is something to celebrate. Hopefully you have more of this coming you way.

  • Kids mature at different times and in different ways–could be your son saw everyone but himself with those little green things and not to be out done by his big sisters asked for some–trying to keep up with or out doing his older siblings may be your saving grace with this one!!

  • That is amazing! I don’t have kids, but I do have a niece and nephew. The oldest a girl -will try at least one bite of everything. The younger one which is a boy gags if he smells something he thinks he may not like.

    • My son often retches when he doesn’t like something. He reacts to the texture in his mouth rather than the smell. He doesn’t do it so much anymore but in addition to retching he has been sick, returning all the dinner he had just finished eating back to his plate, albeit looking a bit different to when he started!

  • I have two sons. They both eat very well, in their own way. My oldest loves to eat chicken and what he calls “meat”, aka salami, pepperoni, and pastrami. He likes some fruits and has been starting to give new foods a try (just nothing spicy). Our youngest is a vegetarian; getting that boy to eat any kind of meat is hard. He would rather nest a bit off a hotdog in his cheek for 2 hours than to actually eat it. He loves fruits.

    I guess it all depends on the child’s personality and likes and dislikes. Both my boys used to love banana baby food when little, now they can’t stand the texture. It is more on their palate than anything else.

    I wish my boys would ask for peas…. 🙂

    • We grow peas in the garden. Nothing tastes better than fresh peas from the pod. They always get eaten as soon as they are picked though. They never make it to the dinner plate!

  • lol, I made everything myself. but yes when you allow them to explore freely it shows them they think they are in control and are more open to things in turn.

  • Try corn on the cob…it’s more exciting to eat it off the cob. We have been giving to our almost 2 yr old great-nephew. It is so much fun watching him with his piece of an ear of corn. The little corn kernels on the face make wonderful pictures too!

    • Offered him corn on the cob. My girls love it and have always loved it – great for when children are teething – but when my son tried it, he chewed on one kernel as though he was chewing a wasp and then managed to spit out the skin. After he said ‘I’ve had enough now’ and that was it.

  • Your son sounds like me! I was the most picky eater my parents had ever seen! However, I eventually came around, as your son will! I bet you leaving those peas off his plate and him seeing you all had something he did not made him ask for some! Whatever it was, YAY! Definitely keep trying!

    • It becomes almost a matter of principle for them and the more you make of it the more they will. I occasionally put things on his plate that I know he won’t eat and don’t say anything about them. He always looks at them in disgust and I end up saying you can try them if you want to. 9 times out of 10 he doesn’t but on the odd occasion that he does the girls and I do a secret victory punch when he is not looking.

    • I think it would be easy for young children to be vegetarian as they find it difficult to chew on meat. Great that your youngest will eat so many.

  • ever moment is a milestone!!It is amazing how much our parenting changes with each child added…I’ve got one friend who made all her food for her first and second children, they were only 13 months apart so she was still in the habit–by the third and fourth five years later–it was all jar. We do what we can =)

    • We do was is best at the time and we should not feel guilty about it. There are some great baby food products on the market now so it is easy to take advantage of what’s on offer. When you have older children to look after too, convenience is everything!

  • Congratulations for such a tremendous milestone! My son was weaned from the bottle at 2 years old. we were on travel and i only brough along his sippy cup much to his disgust. he cried feeling so betrayed and then drank his milk instead straight from a tall glass – the one he saw us drinking water from =)

    • I was definitely less enthusiastic about weaning with each subsequent child, but at least the girls appreciated my efforts! When you have a fussy child it can feel like such a waste of time making things from scratch for them.

  • About Author

    Nicola Young

    Nicola Young is a freelance copywriter, with experience in all aspects of commercial writing, including articles, newsletters, press releases and web content. She also writes young adult and children's fiction and regularly blogs about her own family life.
    Feel free to connect with Nicola on: Facebook | Twitter

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