To Eat...or Not To Eat...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

...that is the question! Some days, Emma decides that she doesn't need to eat, other days, she totally makes up for it. :)

I had a very different vision for this on Sunday, and was planning this great post (complete with lots of pictures) of all the good and new food that Emma was eating, but turns out we, Emma had a change of heart.

About three weeks ago, Emma decided to get really picky with eating and drinking. Pretty much since about 5 weeks old, she has been on a soy formula and never had any issues. She has never been picky about her baby fruits, veggies or formula (warm vs. cold, etc) until now. She decided a little while ago that she no longer needed to drink her formula, despite putting it in sippy cups, regular cups, using straws, trying to wait after waking up in the mornings, drinking formula before regular meals, you name it! Basically anything that I could think of and try...she thwarted. The little stinker knows when it's formula and doesn't want any part of it. After some wishful thinking and a few phone calls to her pediatrician, I found out that it's still a little too early to switch to until she is 12 months, formula it is.

Remember this post about the good days and bad days I tend to have as a working mom. Yeah...couple the fact that Emma was drinking maybe 8 ounces of formula a day with a bad working mom day.

Emma has never been a big formula drinker. She has never been one of those babies that has consistently polished off 8, 10, or 12 ounces of formula. Ever. On very good days, she maybe had two bottles that were 6 ounces, and the rest were 3-4 ounce each. So, when she would drink even less, it would worry us a lot. For example, during Emma's 9 month appointment, her pediatrician said that at around 12 months, she would automatically start to wean herself down on formula and want more solid foods. Cool....count me in. However, he said that at about 12 months she would probably only be taking about 25 ounces a day. Come again? Emma RARELY has ever had 25 ounces in one day. So by the time she is 12 months, she will be completely weaned off of formula at the rate she is going. I say all of this basically to point out that since she has always been under the "typical" or "recommended" daily ounces, dropping even lower tends to send us into a first-time parent panic.

Up until about a week ago, it only seemed to be formula that she was picky about. Unfortunately, that has all changed now. My incredibly easy going, non picky baby has turned and ran for the hills, and I now have an extremely picky baby who wastes no time in telling you how she feels about what is on her plate or in her cup. I originally thought that the more "real people" food that she got was spoiling her and she didn't want her baby food anymore. I couldn't blame her...the thought of those chicken and vegetable purees are enough to gross anyone out. But now, you never know what is going to happen and what she is going to eat or not eat at any given meal!
After two weeks of trying to figure out what she wanted to eat, and without much luck I might add, I decided to try some new "real people" food to see what happens. So I spent a good amount of the day on Sunday trying to figure out what I could feed her and making some new goodies. Hence, my excitement of the new post with yummy pictures.

First, I decided to try "real" green beans, so the steamer was in full effect on Sunday afternoon.

Then I thought, that if Emma loved sweet potatoes so much, why not try real potatoes? So I boiled up some red potatoes until they were really soft for something a little different.

A couple weeks ago we gave Emma some plain chicken breasts to try since she really isn't much of a fan of the pureed-canned meats (can you blame her?!?!) Yuck! She wasn't a fan at the time, and about 20 minutes after the first bite went it, I ended up fishing out the rest of the chicken out of her mouth because it wasn't going anywhere. So, how about some ground chicken meatballs?! Emma had been slowly starting to refuse the apples that we steamed for her earlier that week so we had a couple of containers left over, so I threw those into the mix as well. A few spices, some egg yolk and wheat bread and voila! I also ended up cooking them in a little vegetable broth to make them as soft as I could, so we didn't have to revisit the Chicken-Fishing Incident of 2010 again. :)

Voila!! I think Emma's dinner looked better then ours did that night!

At first, she was not impressed...

Even though I made a giant mess of our kitchen....

But then she thought about it...


That was until the next day and she refused everything that she had just scarfed down the night before. UGH! Defeated by a 10 month-old! Once again!
What I don't understand is that it is not one food consistently or a group of foods that she doesn't like. It depends on the day, and maybe even hour, on what she wants to eat. For example...she has started refusing bananas lately. Okay, I get it, let's move on. Last night, she completely refused sweet potatoes (among several other things). Today at daycare, she refused her meatballs, green beans, pasta AND formula but scarfed down her sweet potatoes and banana. Um....what? Tonight for dinner, she polished off two meatballs, potatoes, and some pasta even though she had completely refused those not 4 hours before. It's to the point where I basically just pack whatever I have in the house for lunch because I don't know what she will eat and what she won't! She had about an ounce and a half this morning of formula, another ounce and a half 2 hours after breakfast, and one half of an ounce in the afternoon, and maybe two ounces before bedtime.
So please, I am pretty much at my wits end here. If you have any suggestions on what we can do to get some more formula in her or any ideas for new foods to try...please leave a comment. I am running out of ideas!!


  1. Has she been on the same formula for the past 10 months? Have you tried switching to another brand to change up the flavor for her? Maybe she is just bored with it. Don't worry much... Cailin does the same EXACT thing. She hardly ever drinks the recommended amount of formula. She does around 18-20 oz a day. (Except for the other day when she drank 14 ounces in 3 hours) When I tell my pedi this he always says that some kids eat a lot more than others, some kids eat a lot less. And as long as they are a normal weight, then it's totally normal. So I try not to worry about it too much. I just shove food down her throat as often as possible! Good luck with your picky eater! We're both in the same boat these days...

  2. I do not have any advise, but I wanted to ask you about sources for giving babies table food. Any suggestions? Even though I love my pedi she is not very helpful in the food department. Thanks.

    Also I love looking at your pictures (hope I am not creeping you out). I wish I was able to take photos of my daughter showing her face expressions. It just seems that she does everything when I have my camera put away.

  3. Dylan has the opposite problem... he LOVES milk -- but doesnt want food!! Well some days he does, other days nope! We've gotten to the point that we have to hide his sippy cup and OUR glasses of milk bc he will literally stop eating everything for the rest of dinner. :) Anyhow, how is she on water? Or juice? Will she drink those instead just to get some fluids in her? Good luck. Our daycare lady -- who we call the "baby whisperer" -- tells us a lot that depending on whether they are going thru a growth spurt or not will change the amount they are eating. She says you can never predict for kids... but if they are growing, they will eat. :)

  4. So in the morning we do 1 Cheerio, a sip of the bottle, 1 Cheerio, a sip of the bottle... hahah :) Good luck and let me know what you can get to work. I'm sure I'll be using your creativity in a few months :)


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