• http://www.stuft.com.au STUFT

    Yes, but has she tried pancakes with banana and vegemite? Don’t gag till you’ve tried it. Oh the vitamin B and potassium rush!

  • Jen

    Every time I read about Leta’s eating habits I am comforted… all my 3 year old son will injest is milk, marshmallows and dum-dum suckers.

    Pancakes FTW!

  • murphy912

    Our son is the same way. We find ourselves begging to get him to eat foods bereft of any nutrition just to get him to EAT SOMETHING and he refuses, on principle, I guess. Some mornings we have begged him to eat a donut, or a cookie, just so he’d have something in his stomach before he went to “school” (daycare).

    He drinks milk, eats toast (can’t have any seeds or anything visible in it) with Olivio (as long as it’s not melted), vegetarian bacon with ketchup, fries and crispy chicken strips w/ copious amounts of ranch dressing, Pringles, Oreos, cheese pizza, vegetarian chick’n nuggets, and that’s about it. Once in a blue moon he’ll eat a banana, vanilla yogurt, or a cheese stick.

    He is off the charts for height and weight (weight is proportionate to height), and at 5 years of age, was the size of a 6-7 year old. I think he’s growing on air.

  • http://moodsofmae.blogspot.com Mae

    I LOVE The Blue Plate! They were featured on the Food Network not too long ago. After I get my cheese fry and dipping sauce fix at the Training Table when I visit Zion next month, it’s straight over to The Blue Plate. Okay, maybe after a juicy garlic burger from the Cotton Bottom.

  • juliekaye

    As the mother of two picky girls aged 10 and 11, I can totally sympathize. I have the kids who won’t eat a brownie or cookies or ice cream or even candy bar unless it’s a specific type. My kids have never eaten 1) soup 2) a sandwich 3) mac and cheese 4) any type of casserole 5) any kind of potato except french fries. I finally stopped the battle – they eat mostly healthy foods and logic tells me they’ll add foods when they feel like it. In the meantime, it’s not so bad that they turn their noses up at all the pseudo food, junk food, sodas, sugar-loaded drinks, etc. Keep up the effort and take the small wins where you can – you worked for it, and you certainly deserve a standing ovation.

  • http://habitual.wordpress.com Creature of Habit

    *laughing my head off*

    This is so funny – not only because she tortures you with her pickiness, but also because I was that child so I know exactly what she’s thinking…and it’s complicated! Also – she will mostly likely not grow out of this. I mean, she’ll expand her horizons, sure. But let’s just say the Food Network is going to be completely over her head.

    Your conversation with her sounds like the conversations my husband has – with me. Now. Still…..yeaaaahhhhhh…….

  • amyinbc

    I would have burst out crying with joy. Really.

    Mother of the pickiest eater EVER.

  • Jen

    Leta, I understand. I grew up on plain white bread and a single slice of yellow American cheese or peanut butter on plain white bread, no jelly.

    23 years later I finally said “hey, maybe I should try something new.” I do occasionally try new things but I don’t go crazy. I’ve come a long way in the past 10 years.

  • Anonymous

    My son is 18 and I have spent those years trying to make a variety of things that he would actually eat that didn’t involve any vegetables of any kind…or fruit. He’ll eat ground beef in a taco or on a pizza but never an actual hamburger. He will eat the same tomato sauce I put on pasta as long as it was put on a pizza…the list goes on. My long winded point is that it is both pathetically exciting and frustrating to have him come in the door and asking me accusingly why I NEVER made him lasagna cause he just had it at his girlfriends house and he likes it. I want to run in the kitchen and FINALLY make a meal I like but haven’t eaten in 18 years because of his dislikes, but I also want to strangle him.

  • Anna

    Do you KNOW how happy I am that there is ONE MORE CHILD in America who has access to jelly but refuses to eat it?! I thought no other such child existed besides my five-year-old! This is so exciting. Hot damn.

    Congrats on expanding Leta’s teensy menu. We, too, know how victory tastes. (Like chicken.)

  • http://www.ambyblog.com Amby

    My favorite, in college, used to be chocolate chip pancakes and a plate of fries.

  • http://www.chelseypaul.typepad.com chelsey

    This sounds so familiar to some of our battles with Riah, she does eat very well it’s just other things like, “Wow Riah look Mommy’s wearing pretty sandals, why don’t you be like mommy and take off your snow boots, its 98 degrees!”

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t like PB&J as a child either. Still won’t eat it.

  • Bertie

    For the last 15 years, me and my father go to the hot dog/sausage cart near his work instead of fancy lunches for my birthday lunch. It is the highlight of my day, something we both love and soemthing I will always miss when he’s gone. So glad you can enjoy those moments with Leta.

  • http://www.chelseypaul.typepad.com Chelsey

    Okay some will hate me for this but I make it pretty clear that my house isn’t a restraunt, I don’t make separate meals for everyone else.. I take suggestions, but everyone eats the same or they can go hungry.

    I know my children have their likes and dislikes, as do I however, some children I have nannied for or cared for have gotten a little ridiculous. My theory is to make what you and your husband want for dinner, add something toddler like sliced apples or cut grapes but don’t make anything else. They’ll probably scream and carry on the first few times, because most parents give in. Guess what they won’t starve, they’ll eat when their hungry…they’ll eat what you’ve made :) And yes sometimes it takes tactics like the one you and John used.

  • Sarah

    This slice of life post is exactly the reason I come to your site. Thank you.

  • http://spandrelstudios.blogspot.com Spandrel Studios

    Who knew that pancakes – or maple syrup – could spread so much joy? Maybe you could convince her to try a Monte Cristo (you know, those egg-dipped fried ham/cheese sandwiches) if you slather it with syrup?

  • http://www.soulmoxie.com Soulmoxie

    ahh…the power of the pancake.

  • http://notesfromthesleepdeprived.blogspot.com Wendy

    Why do they do that? Tessa hated the fireworks, the rainbow we saw earlier, the beach, and the aquarium. This has all been in the last month. And she hates peanut butter and Noah hates jelly. It makes no sense to me! I thought my kids were the only ones like that! I’m so glad to see that they’re just normal!

    That’s really cool that y’all were able to get her to eat them. Good for you!

  • http://lovelyracket.blogspot.com Jen

    Ah the sweet sweet victory of a child trying something new! I must remember the candy bit.

  • http://www.sixfeetunderblog.com Tess

    You are my writer hero! My oldest was like that when she was little. She hated cake and sweets and only ate vegetables. Wait, was that a bad thing? Now that she’s 18, she won’t even look at a vegetable! Kids-can’t figure them out and can’t beat them with a wooden spoon- at least not out in public with surveillance cameras around.

  • Melissa

    My nephew will eat anything with Ranch Dressing on it. It’s often referred to as “White Ketchup” in thier house. Maybe you should go for French Toast next!

  • Mandy

    This is along the Jessica Sienfeild line of thinking (and maybe it’s already been mentioned in amongst the 230 comments!)

    How about putting fruit and vegies in the pancake batter?

    We have pancakes every weekend and sometimes for dinner and I always put fruit in the batter – mushed banana (the favourite), grated apple, blueberries or whatever we’ve got hangin’ around. We also have ‘blinis’ which are russian style pancakes with grated zucchini and carrot in the batter and a crust of melted cheese on one side. Actually he’s not eating them at the moment but he did LOVE them for a while.

    I don’t know whether this was a trick that worked or whether Pascal is just a ‘good’ eater but we kind of just let him sit with us and serve him up what we’re eating and just say if you don’t like it, leave it on your plate but you’re missing out if you don’t try it. You’ve probably heard this a MILLION times but persistence is key..

    Another thing that’s working at the moment which I saw on a british show called ‘little angels’ was asking Pascal ‘how many bits of avocado (or whatever) do you think you need to eat before you have your desert?’ It’s funny because he never says ‘one’, it’s always three or four. (just like the little girl did on the show we watched) Everytime we’ve used that tactic he’s cleared his plate!

    I’m sure you’ve had heaps of this kind of advice as I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I’m no stranger to Leta’s eating habits!

    Enjoy the pancake run while it lasts. As you know already, Leta will be fine!

  • Linda

    Nice to know that our daughter is not the only kid in the world who won’t eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I too am baffled. Also, she won’t eat cookies, the only candy she will eat is Hershey’s plain chocolate bar.

    Our doctor gave us the same advice, but I’m still waiting for it to kick in. She’ll be 10 in Feb.

  • http://nikipaniki.wordpress.com niki

    You guys are awesome. I’m sure Leta will grow up to love pancakes and other more exciting dishes. But I can’t blame her with the ketchup. I eat loads of that stuff when I was younger; I think even now I still do. There’s this place in Kuala Lumpur called Paddington House of Pancakes (http://www.paddingtonpancakes.com) and they serve about 138 different kinds of, well, pancakes. I had a field day when my friend took me to this haven. I ordered 3 servings; I never felt so happy.

  • Anonymous

    I have a soon to be 13 year old son that has survived on nothing but PB&J and Mac ‘n Cheese. I gave up the fight.

    I make it on whole wheat bread, with organic peanut butter and no sugar added jelly.

    It makes me feel better.

  • http://thereluctantlongislander.blogspot.com/ Jenny

    I loved this. It really made me laugh after a night of Irish family drama.

  • esmith

    wait ’til she figures out you can put STUFF in those pancakes…like chocolate chips. then it’s gonna be on.

  • Aimee

    Just an hour ago, at a friend’s birthday dinner, I swear the earth stopped for one small moment. My four year old daughter ate a bite of steak. Steak–as in, meat product. And it wasn’t coated in sugar. My husband and I didn’t speak, we just shot each other a glance, knowing that if we dared to say a word, we could guarantee another four years without meat.

  • Betsy

    Mmmmm. Pancakes. Will French toast be next? Or would that cause the world to explode?

  • http://thefashionablehousewife.com The Fashionable Housewife

    Aw Heather, this is why I love you! Post like this! You’re like super mom or something.

  • Sadie

    Hey, that’s how it starts…four things become five. And maybe by the time she is fourteen she will even eat something green. Like Skittles. Baby steps.

  • http://www.valcox.blogspot.com val cox

    what a beautiful story, told so well.

  • TX2Steph

    OK, I confess I have not read through all of the comments. We too have an internationally-ranked Ultimate Picky Eater. He even hates chocolate! But he loves maple syrup and from there it was a small step to sweet and sour sauce. Once he fell in love with the magic Red Sauce, it was chicken nuggets every day! More “candy” to try!

  • Lola

    I could go on and on about how I know *EXACTLY* what you are talking about but I will leave it at that.
    Isn’t it an awesome feeling? I’ve mouthed “Don’t move” to my husband as we sit in shock while my 5 year old daughter tries a new food unexpectedly.
    I would HIGHLY recommend the book “How to get your kid to eat but not too much” by Ellyn Satter. It is a fantastic book recommended by almost every Children’s Hospital out there. Our experience (which actually brought our daughter to being tube fed – that is how little she would eat) improved greatly after we read it and employed its philosophy.

  • Kellyr2

    My mom used that exact same trick to try to get me to eat carrots. Let me tell you, saying that syrup tastes like candy is MUCH nicer than telling your kid that carrots taste just like candy. Manipulating is fine, lying is not. I was always scared when she offered me candy after that.

  • http://www.echo45.com Jenny

    Don’t let my daughter read this post. She’s thrilled we let her have butter on her pancakes. She never questions what that liquid gold is that we drench ours in.

    And remember, syrup also goes great on sausage and fried chicken!

  • Carroll

    Sweet success :-)

    And, on the Furminator picture today…Having gone out and bought one a few weeks ago based solely on your earlier enthusiastic mention, I totally second your ringing endorsement of that product. Costs an arm and a leg, and I about gagged as I signed the receipt, but man, does that thing ever work. I think they *should* pay you (you know your word could sell at least scores, if not hundreds of anything) Maybe since you already own the product, a year’s supply of dog food? Or a trip to the Bahamas??

  • smaihlee

    My 9-year old was just like Leta at that age. Unfortunately, he only stopped being like that a few months ago. But man, what a joy it was to hear him ask for a bite of my Thai Egg Roll yesterday! Unprovoked!

    Word of advice: Don’t give in to the parenting-win-adrenaline-induced urge to go out and buy a year’s supply of pancakes. Because as soon as you do, she’ll declare that nothing but Beefaroni will do for breakfast.

  • http://lifespatula.blogspot.com Spatula

    Woohoo to the parental victory. Next stop… heroin?

  • http://blog.oliverifairy.com/ Katie

    Oh, PLEASE send Jon over to my house to work his food magic on MY five year old who subscribes to the “beige diet.” pasta – no sauce, bread with pb – no jelly, pizza – no sauce. He might be able to work a pancake in there pretty easily…it’s beige anyway. Thank you for your hugely entertaining blog — and especially the reassurance that our unique children are not complete freaks (though I would love him even if he were.)

  • http://prettypaisley.com/ Priya

    Go JON! he should write a book on “How to get Kids to eat what you want them to eat”

  • Melanie

    Forget Jessica Seinfeld, and go to the book that she plagerized: The Sneaky Chef. Made the chocolate chip cookies with beans and oatmeal (???) last night and they were delish. I haven’t tried anything with the “purple sauce” (blueberries and spinach) but I have high hopes…


  • http://secondstartoright.blogspot.com Katie

    I love the Blue Plate Diner. Have you tried Ruth’s Diner up Emigration Canyon? I think it’s my favorite place in Salt Lake.

    Plus, they have yummy candy syrup and raspberry jam with breakfast. Not to mention their mile-high fluffy biscuit. Although those may be to good to share.

  • Lori

    My Mom used to tell my younger sister that broccoli tasted like chocolate. Hell, if it helps, you can use that one.

  • Kelly Mae

    My twin boys just started kindergarten this week and I found myself struggling to pack a lunch for one of my sons that will only eat the following: french fries (bad, I know), cheese, plain bread, and peanut butter. But God forbid I actually put the peanut butter ON the bread. I resisted my temptation to put a little tupperware full of peanut butter in his lunch.

    Congratulations on the pancake victory!

  • http://jack-e-lope.blogspot.com Bonnie

    Yeah, I’m going to have to start dunking any dinner I fix into a vat of chocolate, since my son’s first words when I set it down in front of him is “I don’t like that. It’s yucky.” Really little man? What about if I rolled it in Godiva??????????

  • http://www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com sara

    Oh man, between the pancake and getting her to do the gymnastics in a bus thing, Jon’s going to start getting a little cocky about this whole parenting business.

    But at least you’ve been right about everything else. :)


  • http://shmaytalk.blogspot.com/ Taylee

    That is just funny. You guys are funny. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during those moments of candy syrup and pancakes.

  • http://infragilis.net Amber

    There’s this restaurant, if you can call it that, located in the south side of our town. It’s housed in this tiny, one-room schoolhouse type building and it’s called the Dinky Diner.

    My dad and I have gone there since I was 4 or 5. They serve the best coconut cream pie on the planet. I’ve ordered the same thing for almost 20 years and it never tastes bad and the tenderloins are the size of a dinner plate.

    I think it’s great that you got her to eat pancakes. My dad is still trying to get me to eat eggs even though I’m in my 20s.