Sunday, February 13, 2011

Andrew on Food

I'm learning that it's absurd to expect Andrew to be even the slighest bit like William.

Case in point: Andrew and William hold radically different positions on a matter of utmost importance. Food.

For example, cheese. On Friday night, I cut up a few cubes of cheese and dumped them onto Andrew's high chair tray. He immediately began swirling them around on the tray with both hands, knocking several pieces to the floor. After awhile, he gingerly tasted one piece, then spat it out and dropped it on the floor. He commenced swirling again. Eventually, he tried a different piece, worked it around in his mouth for a nanosecond or two, then dribbled it down the front of his bib. More swirling. You can see where this is going. A little while later, I was grimly hunched over, picking up all the bits of cheese off the floor from under the table and high chair.

Contrast that with what William would have done at the same age: he would have gobbled up every morsel of cheese as fast as he possibly could, then gestured wildly for more. Then he would have snarfed up the second helping of cheese and looked around for even more.

I know. It's taken me this long for the light bulb to finally flicker on. Hey, wow, they really ARE different!

Andrew seems to be a pickier eater than William, but he also seems to eat less food in general, even the food that he really likes.

Of course, I wouldn't say that Andrew is a picky eater, per se, at least not yet. He'll eat any and all baby food, from the green beans to the prunes to the meats. He loves his crackers, his Cheerios, toast, chicken sticks, bananas, bits of sweet potato and yogurt. He loves to hold a Ritz cracker with both hands and nibble it up, like a little mouse. And while he didn't care for avocado chunks, he was more than happy to eat mushed-up avocado on a spoon. He even gobbled up some smushed peas from my plate at dinner, picking them out from between pieces of canned peaches.

Speaking of canned peaches, he's admittedly lukewarm at best on canned fruit. But I'm wondering if that's a texture issue more than anything. David pointed out, quite correctly, that canned fruit can be a little slimy--or at least extremely slippery. When the weather warms up, and the seasonal fruit improves, I wonder if he might discover he really likes pluots, strawberries, and watermelon.

I guess I've just gotten spoiled by William. William ate with gusto from the time he started eating, and he's never looked back. He eats supreme-style pizza, with the onions, green peppers, pepperoni, sausage, and olives. He adores sugar snap peas, green beans, and broccoli. He's never met a fruit he didn't like. Of course he loves all cookies, cake and ice cream, even the more unusual flavors like pumpkin. He's very easy to please, in fact, when it comes to food. He can nearly always find something the he likes, and he tends to enjoy the vast majority of what he eats. Pretty much he'll eat anything except for lettuce. And who's going to insist that a four-year-old eat lettuce?

So William may be the outlier. And Andrew's more likely to be a typical kid, when it comes to food. He may not be as picky as his Uncle John, who up and decided out of the blue that he didn't like cheese when he was three years old and has not voluntarily eaten cheese in the 30 subsequent years. But he may not be a human garbage disposal like his big brother.

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