Friday, August 08, 2008

Stunted Growth

I marked the boys' height on the wall next to the hall closet again the other day. I hadn't marked them for about two months, and yet, despite my best efforts to stunt their growth by serving them only four different types of food, they have grown another inch taller. How is this possible? All parenting literature tells me that if children don't eat a variety of healthy foods, they won't grow. And yet, according to the wall in my hallway, they've grown at least four inches over the last year.

Could it be the hormones in the milk? Nope. We only serve them organic. (Unless the grocery store is out of organic milk - in which case the trade-off in wasting more gas to drive to the other grocery store to see if they have organic milk seems trite.)

I know I should just let this go, but it's a big source of my parenting guilt. The nutrition debate rages on - you know, where the experts say children need healthy foods in order to sustain their lives and yet somehow my generation lived on mac-and-cheese and kool-aid - and I just feel like I'm failing at it. We continue to offer new foods to the two growing-yet-still-short people in our house but are met with more resistance than acceptance. My friend Katie has a boy just a little older than my two and that child eats more than a grown man does. My two eat mostly bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, reduced-fat Cheezits (that's sort of healthy, right?), waffles, cereal, pretzels, fruit and baby carrots. And orange juice and milk. And water (does that count?). Nathan eats corn dogs (but not plain hot dogs, and certainly not a hot dog IN a hot dog bun). Jack eats cheese pizza (except when it looks "funny" according to his vague standards) and chicken nuggets (but only when shaped as dinosaurs and then only certain brands).

A few small recent victories:
  • Both boys eat sushi!! But only California rolls, minus the avocado, and taken apart to their respective components: rice, cucumber, crab, no paper. Still, it's my excuse to get sushi take-out whenever possible.
  • Jack tried one single, tiny bite of broccoli and declared it was like eating a tiny tree. He is not planning to eat more broccoli.
  • Nathan and Jack both ate a leaf of spinach. They are very proud that they tried it but are not ready to try again.
So we'll keep on keeping on. I'm hoping now that they are 5, they'll be more receptive to trying new things. We'll see how that goes.

On a somewhat related note, do you think growing four inches in a year could be the reason they've been so cranky and not-fun lately? (Luckily, they are only cranky and not-fun for me and Byron, and occasionally Miss Jessica. For grandparents and friends, the boys are "delightful!", "no trouble at all! " and "so polite!" Whatever.) Four inches is a lot of bone-stretching in one year. Poor guys.

1 comment:

KatieBarron said...

What are you saying about my boy? Ha ha! Wow, 4 inches. Yeah, that explains crankiness. Sometimes I think Jack is prepubescent already with his moodiness.