I hope I am posting in the proper forum.
I have thought about posting here for months, but then I'll read some threads, get some good advice and move on. But I have to admit that there are some issues here that are really stressing me out, and I need some advice.
I recognize that *I* am the one stressed and these may just be *my* issues that I'm going to have to get over.
My almost 5 yo dd eats very little variety. And her list of acceptable foods just gets shorter and shorter. I try to go with it and make her whatever she wants, pretty much whenever she wants, but this just isn't working well for our family (I also have a 3 yo ds and a 14 mo dd). She *never* has what we have for dinner unless it's pizza or spaghetti (which she will eat only plain). So I make something else for her. Half the time she then doesn't eat what she's asked me to make, but will cry and complain at bedtime that she's hungry. I then give her the option to finish her leftover dinner (which she refuses) or to have a string cheese or banana or something similar. Lately, these options aren't acceptable to her and she ends up throwing a fit.
The other thing is that she won't even *try* any new foods. Her acceptable food list includes: plain pasta with parmesan, honey sandwhiches, annie's mac, cheese pizza, limited fruit and veggies, milk, string cheese, cereal, granola bars, juice and smoothies, and of course some junk food (chips, donuts) which we do have around occasionally. I do feel like her diet is pretty healthy, it's just SO limited. And, I am a little worried about her protein intake, but try to trust that her body knows what it needs.
I am at my wit's end. I don't want her to have food issues at all (I have plenty for all of us) but I am just so frustrated. And with a family of 5, I'm just too busy to cater to her every food whim.
what should I do? How do you get kids to at least try foods? Should I worry about protein intake? If she refuses to eat what she's requested that I make, can I refuse her other choices? I feel like such a failure and I'm so tired of being stressed out at the dinner hour.
I should also mention is that she seems to be very sensitive to food odors, and very sure she won't like something just by the smell. I wonder how this relates to what she'll eat. She is also very particular about what she'll wear as far as clothes having tags, embroidery, buttons and such that might bother her. Maybe she has sensory issues? And maybe this is an entirely separate thread?!
Finally, my other 2 kids will try almost anything so I don't think that I've totally caused my older dd's food issues.
thanks for reading my rambling post and TIA for any advice!