Hi there, I am (a single) mother of a generally fantastic 6-yr old boy whose one major problem is his attitude to food. He will generally never accept trying new foods, yet a week doesn't seem to go by without him rejecting a food that he was previously quite happy with. On the fruit and veg front, we are down to broccoli, carrots, mangos, apples, grapes and bananas. (All of these are met with some reluctance, though, and total rejection if mixed into another meal rather than given separately.)
This has a really bad impact on me (avid cook and eater). We hardly ever get to eat together, unless I conform to the same bland stuff that he likes. And of course it's not nearly as fun cooking for one (x2).
The other week, we sat down and wrote out a list of all the meals he does like. It's not a very long list (say 20 meals or so, many with common ingredients). But combined with the (separate) fruit and veg above, you can get a limited but relatively healthy diet out of it.
So here's the question: Do I just give in and go with this relatively healthy but very limited diet, or do I keep trying to force more challenging foods on him?
Obviously, the former would be much easier in many ways (we are talking serious battles). But at the same time I worry whether that would allow him to be picky forever. And of course, it's still dispiriting for me to have to cater for him separately, or eat his boring food too.
I should point out that he has an astounding ability to go hungry. Just today I did the "eat it or go hungry" thing for lunch and dinner (zucchini rice bake), and he just chose to exist on fruit all day, in expectation of oatmeal tomorrow morning (breakfast, of course, is never a problem!). Not without tears and screaming, though.
Really appreciate your perspectives on this, thanks so much!