The Josie Experiment
Any parent or child caregiver has probably uttered the words, “It’s a good thing my child won’t remember any of this.”
After a week of searing teething pain, an embarrassing parenting mistake (like losing your sh*t at the end of a trying day), or perhaps an attempt at discipline gone awry… In these instances, we take solace in the fact that those first few years will be omitted from memory.
But I can tell you with conviction that there are certain things you wish they didn’t forget.
Like the unquestionable adoration they show to mommy and daddy with their toothless grins and drooly kisses. Or the short time frame when they truly WANT to follow your directions and see how much it pleases you. Or the way they would try almost ANY type of food under the sun. No questions asked… They would just munch away. While staring at you in utter adoration.
THAT is what I wish my nearly 4-year-old daughter would remember.
How she used to eat capers, eggs, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, squash, broccoli, tuna salad, olives, fresh-squeezed green juice (with kale and spinach!), etc, etc. How we couldn’t get through a grocery shopping trip without her gobbling down a banana or a whole carton of her favorite berries.
Now, she only eats a couple bites of banana and a super small handful of those juicy berries. Now, she only wants a “treat” when we get through those grocery store doors. Treats… ugh… I’m tired of hearing about treats.
Up until roughly a year ago, Josie was still consistently eating like she always had been. Freshly cut fruits and veggies out of those familiar little red-topped tupperware containers, raw nuts and raisins, beans, eggs, yogurt… you get the gist. And then suddenly, after her 3rd birthday, one food after another began to drop from her list of acceptable choices. Bread and butter became her favorite request. She even stopped eating the crust. What??? What is going on???
She is incredibly shocked when we look at pictures from our family Yosemite trip just last summer… because she is happily eating baby carrots and cucumber slices. You should see how shocked and confused she gets!
Thankfully, I can count on her renewed love of avocado, and her occasional acceptance of nuts, yogurt, certain fresh fruits, and smoothies (thank goodness for the ability to hide extra nutrition in smoothies!). But I am forever frustrated by the change. Because I remember how it was before!
I understand that her limited palate likely comes from sensory issues. Once her senses finally developed, they kicked on HARD. Loud noises are uncomfortable for her. She smells everything so strongly. It stands to reason that tastes and textures have become intense as well.
I understand that she has preferences and favorites. That she is now old enough to choose what she wants on her plate. AND that sometimes those choices seem like the only time she can assert some control.
I do understand. But I don’t like it! Especially the health professional in me that knows how habits carry over into adulthood… knows how hard I tried to offer a diverse diet from the get-go… and knows how important balance is to overall wellbeing, immunity, development and behavior. And speaking of behavior… THAT has become a huge problem in our household. Huge.
My daughter has always been so incredibly passionate and persistent (or dramatic and stubborn… however you want to spin it 😎 ). But with her lack of nourishment over time, it has become meltdown city in my household.
She’s an emotional roller coaster with a penchant for yelling at me and throwing incredible tantrums. It’s stressful. I’m trying to be a conscious parent and empathize… But I lose my sh*t on a regular basis! Something HAS to change…
So I’m doing a little experiment on my daughter.
That sounds bad, but it’s true!
I’ve decided to try out a whole food supplement called Juice Plus+. I figure that it can’t hurt to give her some extra nourishment each day. Her little handful of JP+ chewables contain 17 fruits and veggies that have been juiced and dehydrated into powdered form. Not a synthetic multivitamin with isolated fragments of nutrition. Just fruits and veggies.
YES. Yes, that is what she needs right now. Vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, micronutrients. In their original packages. Whole food nutrition. The stuff that she just won’t eat right now.
Of course, the real thing is best. Actual whole foods. But you’ve already read the details of my plight… So here we are at Plan B. And this has got to help! Oh, and I might as well try it, too. If only to support myself through the extra stress!
Plus (and you must know how important this is to me), there are plenty of peer-reviewed, ongoing research studies and testimonials touting how Juice Plus+ has helped to change kids’ cravings AND improve their behavior. BAM! I can’t wait to see if that rings true for our sweet Josie!
So, while you wait for my next update on the Josie experiment, I invite you to read a past blog post I wrote on on SUPPLEMENTS. While recently cleaning up my blog to release it to the world, I found this gem from back in 2011 – when I was pregant with Josie! I believe it’ll give you some good insight into my thoughts on supplementation.
Thanks for following along, my friend! Do YOU have any good irrational stories about kids and food?