We reached a BIG milestone at my house this weekend: my son ate a baked potato.
Why is that so big?
Well, for starters, my son is a VERY picky eater. Actually, the term “picky eater” might not be degrading to people who actually are picky eaters.
My son won’t eat. Anything that doesn’t start with the letter pizza.
Ok, it’s not quite that bad, but it’s close. REAL close.
I’ve tried being patient. I’ve tried reasoning with him. I’ve tried not feeding him until he eats what I’ve given him. This method always results with him in his room, both of us mad, and him not eating again until the next day. I honestly believe he would starve himself rather than eat something that he doesn’t want.
I’ve asked several child-care folks about this, and the responses are all fairly similar: don’t worry – he’ll start eating more of a variety when he’s ready; make sure he takes vitamins, but otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it; or, he’ll grow out of it.
I was once determined I was going to break him of not trying new foods, so I quickly searched the internet for some sure-fire tips on ways to get him to eat. Only to find, to my chagrin, that there is actually a phobia (fear of foods) that’s being taken quite seriously.
The other issue is that I think my son might have a slight case of Asperger’s, which is a mild form of autism. I’ve read that kids who suffer from this often won’t eat foods – not because they don’t like the food, but because they don’t like certain textures.
So I’ve treaded lightly through these issues over the years, always afraid to push too hard, but just as afraid to not have healthy eating habits.
So this weekend, when he told me he wanted to try a baked potato, my mouth literally fell open.
He was lucky (or maybe I was the lucky one) that I had potatoes at all. I don’t always have them, but this time I did. I quickly prepared one in the microwave, and had it prepared and in front of him ready to eat before he could change his mind.
But it turns out I didn’t have anything to worry about – he tried it. And he eventually he ate it.
I’m not sure I could have been more proud if he had finally solved that time travel dilemma that has perplexed us over the last few months.
Ok, maybe not as proud as I would be if he invented the time machine. But pretty darn happy.
He not only tried it, he ate ALL of it. And he even said he liked it – for the most part. It’s not quite pizza, but he said it was pretty good.
Sure my son is 10 years old now, but like a lot of kids, there are still some areas where we’re taking baby steps.
And just like learning to walk, I’m just as proud of him for every step he takes. Even if it means falling down a time or two along the way.