food · slice of life

Let Me Count the Reasons

At least she drank her apple juice.

The four of us tried a new restaurant for dinner tonight. Isabelle had the choice of cheese pizza, grilled cheese, or bowtie pasta. She picked the pizza.

Her personal pizza arrived before our entrees. Marc cut a section into small bites while Isabelle and I finished playing Hangman. After two bites of pizza, Isabelle decided she didn’t like the pizza. Why? “There’s something on it,” she said. (It was an extra glob of cheese.) After a few stern looks from us, she ate the “globby piece” of pizza.

But then, we heard every excuse Isabelle could think of not to eat the pizza on her plate.

  • “The pieces are so big.” (I asked her to open her mouth wide. I speared a piece and held it near her mouth to show her it would fit inside with no problem.)
  • “It looks like meatballs.” (We reminded her there was no meat on the pizza.)
  • It doesn’t taste right. (Marc acknowledged the sauce was different than other pieces of pizza she likes, but it tasted fine.)
  • “I don’t like it.” (We reminded her this is what was for dinner.)
  • “It doesn’t taste good.” (Marc told her the pizza was perfectly fine since he sampled it.)

In the end, Isabelle dug in her heels and didn’t eat more than three bites of pizza. When we returned home, Marc gave her a PediaSure to drink so she’d get some nourishment. That was it. There was no alternate food provided for her to eat.

Next Saturday night, we won’t be going out with the kids. We’re going to go out — just the two of us. I’m looking forward to a meal with no complaints!

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35 thoughts on “Let Me Count the Reasons

    1. That’s so true!
      My husband and I joke that when we go on vacation with Isabelle, she eats what I call a Modified Prisoner Diet. Lots of bread and water. (Her choice, not ours!)

      1. We tend to bring some staples with us from home when we travel with our picky eater, because otherwise, he won’t eat at all! (Because the bread is wrong and the water tastes funny!) When we went with my family to Hawaii to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, he complained about the milk and lived on 2 bites of any meal out and the one type of granola he will eat brought from home.

  1. This made me smile. My son refuses to eat the pizza at pre-k every Thursday because it’s a rectangle and “he only likes the pointy kind.” Eating is a tough battle sometimes!

  2. Reasons to not eat pizza – take some creativity to come up with excuses. For me the difficult part with picky eater is when she one day decides that she doesn’t like something she has eaten happily so far. Just the two of you going out sounds wonderful.

  3. She dug in her heels,
    carved indentations in the dirt,
    hands clenched on the rodeo rope
    and no room for give,
    while on the other side of the arena,
    me, the bull, refused to be slack,
    my horns pointed upward in exasperation
    as she danced around me,
    the crowd, holding its applause,
    wondering how the standoff might end.

    –Kevin, lifting a line for a poem as comment.

  4. I’ve been there, Stacey. No amount of cajoling will get them to eat something once they’ve decided the don’t “like it.” You and Marc handled it just right. Next weekend enjoy the dinner for two!

  5. Oh so sorry – I remember those day with my kids. The really sad part is I remember those days when I was that kid. I had thousands of reason why not to eat something and lots of ways to hide food. My guess is like most of us she will grow out of it and you can again take her out to eat.

  6. There are times in my memory when I traded plates with my daughter who ordered an unusual item which we questioned, which she was sure she would love-hah! I loved going out with my kids, but there were those times. . .

  7. I have never taken youngsters out for a meal so I have never had this experience. I do understand that it is a common one. Enjoy your dinner out next weekend.

  8. I like how your solution ensures she gets nutrition without caving in. Well done. Enjoy your dinner out together!

    1. We tried the “go to bed hungry” thing awhile back (upon the advice of a feeding specialist), but that didn’t change her mealtime behaviors. Therefore, we still won’t cook something new if she refuses to eat, but we insist on a Pediasure. She doesn’t love those shakes, but she knows why she has to have one.

  9. Our oldest daughter would try anything. Sometimes, it was just a “that looks good”, others it was a guilt trip, but she’d try it. Our youngest sounds exactly like your daughter. At 16, “I have texture issues,” is an excuse that we hear all the time!

    This slice just makes me smile! Thank you for sharing with us! 🙂

  10. I remember Hope doing the same thing. There might be green specks on the just cheese pizza or whatever. Her diet for a long time was just cheese and some variation of carbs- be it in pizza, quesadilla or pasta. I was shocked she ate asparagus last weekend. Enjoy dinner just the two of you next week!

  11. I am glad my daughters aren’t the only ones. My two will like a food one day but not the next. I might have to try keeping track sometime. I am sure they will enjoy to hear about it when they are older.

  12. Oh, kids and picky eating!!! Mine had hysterics last week because I made the “wrong noodles- these have a RED LABEL” (The horror!) Enjoy the date night and complaint free dining next weekend!

  13. Food troubles are the worst. We have the same struggle with at least one kiddo every night. They survive and so do we, but the struggle is real…and so hard! Hang in there!

  14. Oh my! My kiddo ordered the grilled cheese and then didn’t eat it yesterday! It’s so frustrating! I like the pediasure approach. Might have to try that.

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