Feeding the Beasts

I have always heard people say that boys will “eat you out of house and home”. Of course I though to myself “ya, sure…boys eat”. But I had NO IDEA the extent of truth in this statement.And I thought I was exempt from this for at least the next ten years.

M just turned two last month. He is tiny. He weighs in at about 27 pounds these days which put him in the 47th percentile for weight. He is a fairly atypical toddler when it comes to food. I have never had to do very much coercing to get him to eat. He started solids (against the “six month” trend) at 4.5 months. And, we didn’t follow baby led weaning (again, against the trends). He started following a spoon with his mouth and eyes at 4 months and was just ready. I love our pediatrician because he is somewhat old-school and doesn’t really get worked up about anything or give me a hard time about anything. He simply said that 4-6 months is a great window to start playing with solid food, and to start him when he was ready. So we did. First it was oatmeal cereal and pureed squash. Little M couldn’t get enough of it. We quickly started letting him chew on things. He loved soft cooked pinto beans. He wasn’t quite able to get things in his mouth on his own, so we would help him out with tiny pieces of very soft foods. He ate everything we gave him. Before long he was self-feeding anything and everything placed in front of him. By 7 months he was a pro-status, eating machine.The kid has been eating everything in sight ever since.

My life today consists of hearing “ssssnaaack please” every 10 minutes. I ask M what he wants. He says adorably “show me”, which means come to the pantry with me so I can show you what I want. He takes my hand and I follow him. I make 2, 3, 4 suggestions and he will finally pick something. I tend to believe, at that point, that he should be okay for awhile. I mean eating half a box of cheddar bunnies should hold someone over for awhile, right? Wrong, that snack is devoured and I hear it again…”sssnaaack please mama”. This morning he ate a bowl of cereal, a scrambled egg, some oatmeal, a granola bar, 6 ritz crackers, a cup of blueberries, a cup of grapes, and chunk of cheese, and a pack of fruit snacks before lunch. I spend all day trying to think of healthy snacks. There are only so many healthy things one can buy in a grocery store! By 4 pm I am throwing fruit snacks and gummy bears at him so that I can cook a decent meal. I worry every day that I will spoil his appetite for dinner. But without fail, I place a plate full of food in front of him and it is gobbled quickly.

We have now added a second boy to the family. If his nursing habits are any indication of his appetite, let’s just say I’ll have to get a night job to pay for groceries.

I am terrified for the teen years when I have two starving adolescent boys (I am also afraid of the smells and conversation topics that will come). Maybe I’ll start gardening before that time arrives. Wait…who am I kidding, pizza rolls don’t grow on trees!

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