Monday, January 25, 2010

Dealing with a Picky Eater

Every parent has had the experience of dealing with a Picky Eater.  Picky Eaters are such a pain in the ass because of the various illogical reasons the PE won't eat something:  1) it's a certain color, B) the texture is icky and 3) "I just know I won't like it."  Trust me, I know these things because yes, I was a Picky Eater.  I had to have the crusts cut off of my Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches which I ate while watching Sheriff John after I got home from an exhausting 4 hours of kindergarten of which 1/2 hour of that was spent taking a mandatory nap.  The only vegetable I would eat was corn.  And I refused to eat Carl's Jr. cheeseburgers because they had lines on them.  Lines!  Ick!  The rare occasions our family actually went out to dinner, I would order a cheeseburger.  Even in Chinese restaurants.  That's the only thing I would eat.

My kids aren't quite as bad as I was although Thing 2 still insists that the crusts be cut off of her Peanut Butter sandwiches.  They're not big fans of green vegetables either but they do love their fruit although if given the choice, Thing 1's diet would consist solely of junk food and Dennison's Chili con Carne with beans over a pile of tortilla chips with some shredded cheese sprinkled on top.

No, the Picky Eater I am having to deal with these days is my dog.  In the last month, Lucy has decided that her Vet-prescribed kibble (read "EXPENSIVE") that she has been happily scarfing down for the last 3 years since she was diagnosed with diabetes is no longer "acceptable" as a food choice.  Mealtimes have now turned into a Battle Royale with me begging, pleading with her to eat so that she could get her injection (she has to have food in her stomach) and Lucy literally turning up her nose at that...that...DOG food.  I've tried mixing in canned food (Trader Joe's chopped Lamb & Rice) leftover roast beef, chicken broth, chicken noodle soup, chopped up hotdogs, rice, anything I can get my hands on, into the kibble and sometimes she'll eat it but mostly she'll just pick out the good stuff and leave the now-soggy kibble behind.  I've tried spoon feeding her and it's a total crapshoot if she'll "allow" me to feed her.  She'll even lick the good stuff off the kibble and leave the kibble behind.

Mornings are the worst.  I'll prepare her gourmet meal, put it in front of her and she will turn her nose up and look away.  She won't even acknowledge it, even with all the extra leftovers incentives thrown in for added flavor.  She just gives me this look like, "Really?  Dog food AGAIN?  I think not."  I even bought one of those whole roasted chickens from the supermarket, picked and shredded all the meat to add to her kibble and she won't eat it.  If I put the chicken on a separate plate, she'll eat that but the chicken with the kibble?  She's not falling for it.  I end up having to toss her food in the trash because by the time I've waved the white flag in surrender to her stubborn attitude, her food has gotten all soggy and disgusting and I don't blame her for not wanting to eat it.

I know when an animal stops eating, it's a sign the end is near.  That's not Lucy's problem.  She'll eat just fine.  She just won't eat her highly expensive Hill's Prescription WD kibble any more.

At her advanced age (11 years), I figure that weight management is not quite as important as getting food into her stomach so that she can get her injection of insulin.  Her vet said that as long as she eats SOMETHING, it's good even if it's not her prescribed diet.  

So, if anyone has any tips on how to get a picky eater dog to eat, I'm all ears.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and shred some leftovers in the hopes of tempting her to eat.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (typo queen)... I doooo believe you are making fun of me and myown particular food issues (girls at work are calling me a food racist).

    sorry about the dog food issues. That sucks.