you are what you eat

We had Anya's appointment with the nutritionist this morning. I wasn't nervous about it, exactly, but I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. To fill you in here, Anya had slipped significantly in the percentiles between her 18mo and 2yo wellness check-ups, and because she doesn't much like drinking milk, the doctor suggested I give her vitamins and take her to a nutritionist for some ideas to boost her calorie count. I was a little unhappy about this for several reasons, the biggest one being that as far as I and anyone else can see, Anya is a perfectly healthy little girl, so why worry about it? I really like our doctor, and I'm sure she is just covering the bases.

I was anticipating being told a bunch of stuff that wouldn't be especially helpful. I was expecting to be told that children need a varied diet and good routine with meals and snacks and that I should try harder to get her to drink milk. These are all things that I know already and am doing my best with. Happily, it wasn't at all like that. The nutrition specialist was incredibly nice and encouraging and told me that I basically don't have anything to worry about, that I have a good and relaxed attitude about what my children eat, that I'm doing a good job feeding my family, and then she gave me a list of calcium-rich foods that include, but are certainly not limited to, dairy products. (Like navy beans! Navy beans have lots of calcium. Awesome. I'm going to have to make something with navy beans pretty soon.)

Until fairly recently, like maybe the last 6 months or a year, Daniel was an extraordinarily finicky eater. Before he turned 2 there was a list of maybe - maybe - five foods he would eat. I was afraid he'd starve, or possibly turn into a graham cracker. He didn't. He finally grew out of this, and while there are lots of things he still refuses to try and/or refuses to like, he's much more like a normal 4yo kid when it comes to food. Anya has never been that picky. She doesn't like milk, true, but she eats lots of other things. This morning, D (the nutritionist) reassured me that I'm doing a lot of things right: we almost never eat at restaurants, I bake bread with whole grains, we never have candy around, desserts are occasional, we eat a variety of vegetables and fruits (especially in season), and with a few notable exceptions (namely goldfish crackers and graham crackers) we rarely have processed foods around.

I don't have high hopes that my kids will be asking for some of the odder things that I love anytime soon, like cooked kale with balsamic vinegar, or cooked beets with green onions and sour cream, or roasted parsnips (even Stuart can't bring himself to eat those last two), but I think we're off to a good start.


Steph said…
Based on the previous post, I'm wondering if the solution to getting more calories and calcium into Anya may not be ice cream?! Oh, right, sugar.
ooh! beets with green onions and sour cream! I'm going to have to try that. Glad things went well. Anya and I can be "we don't like milk" buddies...
Anonymous said…
With so much of the world being lactose intolerant, what's the big deal of trying to shove milk down the throats of kids? I will admit I did like a cookie and a glass of milk, as a kid. Then I spent two years in Africa where fresh milk could make you sick with a half dozen diseases before lunch and the powdered milk was horrible, so I got out of the habit of drinking milk and now like it on cereal but not a glass of it.

Navy beans. Ah yes. Baked beans. I need to make some again, as we like them much better then Bush's which tend to be too sweet.

Only navy beans? What about beans that sort of look like navy beans, such as great northern?

I think you are trying to make me hungry, and I just had lunch.

Becca said…
I'm glad the appointment went well. CJ goes in cycles where he'll try new things, then wants nothing but chicken fingers. Luckily, his small cortex of food includes carrots, asparagus, and spinach. I may try beets with green onions and sour cream--that sounds awesome!
Animal said…
I made a curry with tofu & cauliflower the other night…I had to go back for THIRDS for Rozzle! When presented with leftover options the next night, she specifically requested "Tofu an' cauliflower!"

What 2-year-old DOES that?!?

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