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!

2 years ago... Josie sharing her cashews with the shark ;)

2 years ago… Josie sharing her cashews with the shark 😉

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.

bigstock-Heart-of-fruits-and-vegetables-184383741

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?

11 Comments on “The Josie Experiment

  1. These days will pass. At this age, my daughter was asked to eat 10 edamame beans for dinner, sat in her highchair for 2 hours, screamed the whole time, finally ate them and then promptly threw them up! Ah geez! At the time, I was not sure it was my best parenting move, but she never questioned my insistence to try new foods again (now she at least takes a bite) and it’s a funny story that we laugh about now! BTW – my son’s behavior was greatly affected by his diet – I hope you have good results!! Hang in there! Glad to read your bloggings again!

  2. I hear you. Steven will only eat raw vegetables, specifically broccoli and carrots. Of course, everything has to have ranch on it. When he was 2-ish, he was the best advertisement for Blackboard Bistro’s vegetable soup…he loved the stuff. Now, the only cooked veggies he will eat are if they are slathered in garlic butter sauce. I guess better than nothing, but I too miss the days when he loved many more vegetables. We called them lean, mean, green beans and they were the best. Now they fall into the category of “you make the worst food.” It’s exhausting but I do my best to stay calm and centered or if not, he knows he won the round. I did use Juice Plus when he was younger. I may have to try it again.

    • “You make the worst food”… Ha! Ain’t that the truth! Good for you for fighting the good fight, Karen. And thanks for sharing your thoughts again… it helps so much to hear that you’re not alone!!

  3. What an awesome blog post. I remember this like it was yesterday. I’m so excited to follow your story to see what changes you feel and see.

    My family has been impacted in the most positive way from JuicePlus+.

    Hubby got rid of severe eczema in 30 days, he lost 18lbs the first month WITHOUT exercise. This motivated him to workout. 1 year later, he lost 112lbs and now 24 mnths later he lost 148lbs.

    Our 7yr old daughter is completely off allergy meds, never sick and is completely clear of her eczema.

    My son started eating and drinking it at 8mnths old. Now he is 3yrs old….he has NEVER been sick or a wellness visit for that either.

    For me, it’s saved my business in healing the rips and tears in my ligaments and tendons in my shoulder. Just amazing.

    It’s also helped to stop my mother’s Ovarian cancer from spreading which the doctors are amazed. She is CANCER FREE for 5 weeks now! Just WOW!

    Excited to see the results your daughter will have as well as yourself.

    • Wow, Jenice! EVERY single person in your family has benefitted from Juice Plus+! That gives me some hope!

  4. We have been very fortunate as our daughter has always maintained a huge palate.At about 6 years old we started to experience the frequent treat requests and soon after discovered she had a gluten sensitivity, eczema ans tummy aches. She is 10 and a half now gluten free and she self imposed treat rules earlier this year. Every other week. Recently My husband and I recently shifted to a whole food,plant based diet. My husband suffering from high cholesterol and told his Dr. He did not want drugs he wanted to try diet first. (Dr was thrilled) i had a life threatening episode last year and had a partial colectomy i became acutely aware of how food made me feel and now i have a much greater understanding and respect for the amazing digestive system. I intend it maintain my health vigorously. Our daughter has adapted incredibly well. We keep it colorful.interesting, filling and full of variety. She loves working the juicer.She helps with preparation to keep her engaged. I also do not want to present food with pressure and dogma rather teach her about healthy tasty choices for long term health. And sometimes if she wants ice cream or chips. That is ok. My nutritionist reminds me always about balance. food is our fuel and our medicine. Keep up the good work Kim…love to your family

    • THANK YOU for the response detailing your journey, Heidi! It’s amazing how much real, whole foods are truly the best medicine. And I LOVE the way you approach food. Yes, it IS all about balance. And all about knowing how food makes you feel – so that you can make good choices for you. Well, most of the time… 😉

  5. Hi Kim! I’m curious to hear more about the Juice Plus that your giving Josie. Dylan was very good about eating a healthy selection of foods but has also fallen into the same phase as Josie. She takes a wholefood vitamin daily but I’d love to incorporate a good juice as well!

    😘 Adrianna

    • Hey Adrianna!
      Good to hear from you!
      I can happily tell you more about Juice Plus+! It’s not a “juice” – but a whole food supplement. I’ll email you with more details! 😉

  6. Pingback: The Josie Experiment… The Results are IN! – Deliberate Movement