Picky eaters. Not a new topic, and not an usual problem - you thought. Now let me introduce you to Georgia.
Georgia is a very strict and self-disciplined carb-avore. For no apparent ethical or moral reason, Georgia eschews meat, vegetables, fruit and most dairy. That leaves grain, a food group Georgia is most intimately fond of, and in fact, thrives upon. How Georgia keeps growing – now that’s the mystery.
Ever since she stopped nursing, Georgia would spit, spew and vomit anything remotely fresh or nutritious. Strained squash stained my white capris. Peas ended up in the dog’s dinner. Blueberries would be found months later, tiny and shriveled, having rolled under the buffet.
Meat was always the most entertaining as it was met with the most outrageous display of disgust, complete with gagging and expectoration. Even childhood standbys like pizza, hotdogs and chicken nuggets decorated our walls. And kids’ all time favourite, cheese, was also given the hairy eyeball.
We were reassured then that Georgia would grow out of it. That we should just introduce new foods to her often and make a variety of fresh food available to her at every meal. I still carry around guilt for all of the fresh fruit and veg that would end up in the organic bin. But we held out hope.
Now, almost seven years later, Georgia is an active and bright little girl whose eating habits have not changed one little bit. Her daily diet consists of dry cereal, bread, crackers, and white pasta. She supplements this with the occasional granola bar or chemically laden “fruit snack” – you know the kind. This year, Georgia entered grade one. How do you pack a lunch for someone who doesn’t eat? I’m expecting a note home from Public Health, or at least from the lunch lady, admonishing me for packing her only bread and juice in her lunch bag.
I’ve bought every cookbook, read every blog, and consulted every nutrition book on the market. I’ve sliced tofu, pureed cauliflower, mashed sweet potato. I’ve lied, cajoled and even tried bribery but Georgia has never relented. I've given up, I forfeit and succumb to her demands. Now my hopes are with you and your kids.
If you ever meet a Georgia, lay on the peer pressure in the lunch room, don't hesitate to push fruit down her throat on playdates and don't be afraid of giving disapproving glances when she doesn't opt for the carrots that all the other kids are munching on. I won't mind. It might even promote her from the world of carbs to a whole other dimension.