"Look at how big my tummy is, Mom!", says my middle son, Matthew.
I reply, "Yes, Sweatpea, you're right!"
He's trying to convince me that he's not hungry, after coming home from school and I see that 2 of the four boxes I've packed for his lunch are still completely full in his lunch box.
My middle son is not a good eater. My oldest is, although doesn't like the typical food items: onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic. My youngest (almost 2 years old...wow!) is a great eater. He hasn't seen a food he didn't like...except mashed or baked potatoes...strange.
But my middle boy has maybe 20 things he does like...on any given day:
1. meatballs (only my homemade ones)
2. lemon yogurt (can't find it here in our new town)
3 - 7. apples, pears, cantaloupe, and sometimes dried fruit: cherries, raisins (although not currently) papaya and pineapple
9. summer sausage
10. hot dogs
11. Mrs. Grass noodle soup (I'm refusing to give him Campbells chicken noodle soup anymore...gross)
12. turkey on occasion
13. chicken (baked or breaded)
14. mac and cheese (Annies cheddar shell variety only)
16. english muffins with butter (no jam)
17. fresh pineapple
19. shrimp scampi
...and, that's all I can think of, so not even 20 items.
This is last night's conversation: "If you take 4 bites of corn and 4 bites of noodles, then you can have a dessert." He did it, after some tears, and more bribery, and reheating his plate. Bribery is big. I know the proper "rules" for getting your kids to eat healthy. But, with my middle boy, I can't follow them, or instead of being 35 lbs at 5 years old, he'd weigh much less! My almost two-year old weighed 25 lbs at his 18 month check up. My 5 year old wears size 3T pants! He had on 24 month pants the other day. They were very short, but fit his waist just fine. sigh
The meal he loves the best is my homemade meatballs. We're all happy when I make them, because then we know there won't be any complaining. Too bad I'm vegan...seriously.
So, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I've tried a lot out there: bribery, making something he does like when he completely refuses what we're eating (which I don't do often), telling him how big and strong he'll be if he eats well, etc. Nothing usually works, except the bribing. Sometimes even that doesn't work.
But, he's still our boy and we love him no matter what.
Oh, and I thought of another thing he does like...popcorn! So, that makes 20 thing he does like. Of course, I'm not including sweets in the list.