Those darn baskets

Gonna try not to jump everywhere. This might get wordy.

My mom is always on me about trying to get Pixie to behave better. I admit, she runs my house. She is mouthy to me and she saves all her difficult child-ness for me. Mom, while being the queen of "medicine cures all", is not convinced that Pixie can't control herself since she does so well in school. Therefore she is on me constantly about disciplining her. I have explained the baskets and choosing my battles.

But, after not doing such a grand job of raising Basset Hound (mom raised her for more than half her life while I was inn & out of drug rehab), I second guess myself all the time. Maybe I am giving Pixie a pass to be a little snot? I don't know. I reprimand her when she does really wrong. Otherwise I pretty much let her do her thing. She is SO independent. Am I out of line?

Speaking of baskets, let's talk eating. Pixie has sensory issues. There are only certain foods that she will eat. I don't force her (let's be real, it's not like I could) to eat what she doesn't like. But she is 6 and has not had a vegetable since I stopped giving them to her out of a baby food jar. She won't eat meat unless it is in the form of a chicken nugget (or occasionally a hamburger). This kid could live on cereal. She takes a vitamin. Oh, she loves pasta but ONLY if I make the sauce homemade, and it cannot be leftovers (who does she think she is, Paris Hilton?) At what point do I start to move this out of basket C?

GAWD, I hate when I start feeling inadequate. Thanks for listening and in advance for any advice. :nonono:


New Member
You move something out of Basket C when IT becomes your priority to work on. Is food a priority to you? Do you have bigger fish to fry, so to speak? If it's not on the top of the list, then keep it in Basket C, where it belongs!

You are NOT inadequate! :::hugs::: Just because everything does not go into Basket A (which I think we're all rasised to believe that's where things belong), does not mean you're giving Pixie a "free pass" to do whatever she pleases. Don't be so hard on yourself!


Active Member
my theory- which may or may not work at all- i'd try giving her equal servings (small) of what you have prepared for dinner (one meat, vegie(s)), along with a small serving of what you know she likes. Then, if she eats half of everything on her plate, she can have more of what she likes. if this works for a while, i'd move on to having her eat the entire well-balanced meal before having more of what she likes. my difficult child's pediatrician told me a long time ago that children will not let themselves starve to death. if she is raging over it, i'd probably start this only at dinner time, so i could have sanity other parts of the day.


I NEVER make food an issue. It is Basket C forever. Sensory issues are real and related to anxiety. I serve one well-balanced dinner every night. It always includes one food I think every kid will eat and a fruit (veggies aren't big around here). If the child chooses not to eat the dinner I make, he/she is free to grab a yogurt, cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

by the way, my son (difficult child 1) didn't eat chicken until age 8 and beef until age 10. He just had his checkup this afternoon, and he's grown 3 inches this year. His pediatrician says he's very healthy.

One other thought: I've found that if you involve your child in preparing meals, he/she is more likely to eat what's made.
klmno - tried that. If she SEES anything that she does not like ON HER PLATE: meltdown. Heck, if I feel froggie and oh, I don't know, actually cook something for myself and she SMELLS it: meltdown.

I live on sandwiches, salads, and pizza rolls. On the weekends that she is with her dad, if I am not too wiped out, then I will cook.

Allison, thank you. My worry is about her health. I wonder at what point does her health supercede the baskets. Or am I making myself crazy.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I agree about keeping it in basket C... my 3yo difficult child still loves baby fruit out of the jar... she will eat very little all day. Loves fruit and anything in liquid form. My 6yo difficult child went through a nothing red phase, had to have things touching the bottom of her bowl a certain way phase etc. They both have huge sensory issues that ebb and flow with the moods...

I also know that eating disorder's are big for girl's and worse for g'sfg... so I try to never push the food! I serve healthy food, and if they take 2 bites I never threaten them or restrict them from a treat once in awhile.
I also let them help me make dinner a lot, which takes lots of patience... but they enjoy it, yeah. (sarcasm)

I have one that wants to eat everything due to the medications and the other that eats nothing... so I am walking a fine line... I try not to make it a big deal for either one.

but it does get annoying at times... I was raised to stay at the table until I finished every bite... fun.


New Member
BBK- Is she growing? Staying in her growth curve on her growth chart at the pediatrician's office? Then no worries, hun!!!

My 3 yr old has been the pickiest eater I have ever known! For the past 2 years of his life, he has lived on drinkable yogurts and chocolate milk. No lie. I'll tell you one thing, at least he probably has indestructible bones! LOL I found a multi-vitamin he'll eat (the Flintstones gummies) and that makes me feel a little better. Just before he turned 3, we had an Occupational Therapist (OT) from our states Birth to Three program come in and do some sensory work with him to try to broaden his palate, but it didn't do much. He's very slowly broadening his horizons, but he's still a VERY picky eater. Drinkable yogurts and chocolate milk it is! LOL


Active Member
It could easily be a texture issue. Can you make her own pureed vegetables for her? It might be an option. You can do some interesting things with vegetable puree, including making little patties out of it. What about burgers? Will she eat home-made burgers?

If she's into cereals, sounds like she's hooked on carbs. Have you ever tried making gnocchi? It's fun to make (for kids as well) and uses leftover mashed potato, egg and flour. I have recipes that use other mashed vegetable, especially pumpkin or kumara (yellow sweet potato). I'll send you the recipe if you want, but you might be able to find it for yourself.

Home-made pasta - I make my own, I use one of those hand-cranked pasta machines to roll it out, like an old-fashioned mangle in the laundry for wringing out the clothes. With home-made pasta you can sneak in some vegetable content (it changes the colour), which makes it fun. The home-made sauce - you should be able to sneak in finely shopped carrot, onions, garlic, tomato. Home-made garlic bread - I just spread the garlic butter onto a slice of bread, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and cook it under the grill.

Home-made pasta sauce - you can cheat a little by using bottled sugo as a base, but it's really easy to chop up your own fresh tomatoes and throw them in the pan. If she's eating anything like this, I certainly wouldn't worry.

Try raw food - leave whole chunks of fresh salad vegetables lying around in the fridge - carrot sticks, celery sticks, spring onion (scallions, shallots, whatever you call them) even raw mushrooms. Fresh tomatoes, fresh fruit (peeled, seeded). Frozen fruit - fabulous, straight from the freezer, especially on a hot day. Make sure it's a really good deep freezer, not one that can barely freeze ice or the fruit will continue to ripen and degrade. Fruit that's fabulous frozen - bananas, orange wedges, passionfruit, mango, grapes (any variety, but especially seedless), pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. You can also puree frozen fruit (include frozen banana) into a fabulous frozen thickshake that you need a spoon to eat. You could almost soft-serve it into a cone. If you add only a couple of frozen raspberries it goes a glorious pink colour. Add a couple of raspberries to a frozen mango and banana treat and it's the colour of a tropical sunset.

You can also try mixing in a raw egg to a banana smoothie or frozen fruit - see if she'll eat it.

I was a horror with food when I was a kid - I was almost a vegetarian, because my mother would cook stews and hide bits in them, to get me to eat them. Offal, mainly. Kidney, liver - yuk! Mushroom, capsicum - hated it. I had to know what I was eating. She made a watermelon salad once which I got very upset about because I ate a piece of watermelon when my eyes told me it was tomato - I felt betrayed, even though I like both. If I had known when I ate it that it was watermelon I could have handled it. I do wonder if I'm a bit Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) myself sometimes.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We mostly leave food in basket C for difficult child. The battles we used to endure over food weren't worth it. On the other hand, difficult child is starting to gain weight and I'm wondering if we need to start making it more a basket b at this point. Don't doubt yourself-you're doing a great job. Hugs.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
With our difficult child 2 I make her the frozen fruit smoothies and I slip in flaxseed oil and sliken tofu, she loves them. They take me about 10 minutes to make from start to clean up.
But difficult child 1 will not drink them- the seeds. and the texture. I have even strained them for her, NOPE.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

Marg, you are a wealth of information. However, her sensory issues are such that if there is so much as one little chunk in her gravy, she will not eat it. That is why I cannot use spaghetti sauce from a jar. I have to get a can of tomato sauce, season it, and cook it long enough for the acid to cook out.

I've tried veggies every way. Raw, cooked, cold, hot. I've made homemade pasta. Won't tough it. Has to be Angel hair pasta, from a box.

She will eat fruit. And it changes with her age. Right now she is on a pear and strawberry kick.

She won't touch eggs. I have slipped in a "safe" (pasteurized) egg into a shake for her, but the little stinker caught it. Thankfully she will eat nuts. Of all things, she will eat pistachios and cashews.

Again thank you. You have helped take a load off my mind. Have a fantastic evening.


New Member
A friend of mine has a son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and she raves about a book called: "The Sneaky Chef"-- I think there may even be a corresponding website. The basic premise is that there are sneaky ways of hiding healthy things in foods that appeal to kids. It's worth a try...

Of the problems we have (oh and we have plenty), food isn't one of them so I can't say that I have tried this firsthand. But my friend swears by this.


Active Member
Home-made sauces - what about a mouli? Or some similar sort of strainer? It's amazing how much nourishment you can get in a clear liquid.

Will she touch chicken broth? I have a good recipe if you want - totally strain it, it won't matter, she will get a lot of nourishment from what really looks like a thin, insubstantial stock. You could cook carrots in it, then remove the carrot and discard it (I do that anyway). I also use it as a base for risotto or chicken supreme. For the chicken supreme, I cook in butter some onion and red capsicum, add flour to make a roux, then add chicken stock and powdered milk. I then put a stick blender in it and puree the lot until it is a universal, creamy sunset-coloured sauce. I then add chopped cooked chicken and frozen peas, cook it until the peas are done and serve over rice. But you could leave out the chicken and peas and have just a smooth sauce - it still has the goodness of the chicken and vegetables in it and still tastes great. It's one of difficult child 3's favourites, even though it has a creamy texture.
To make the stock - I simmer chicken necks (or bones) in salted water, with herbs, a carrot and an onion. Strain the lot and chuck out the solid stuff (you can pick the meat off the bones if you want, but most people don't).

Tomato - the Italian communities here in Australia have bottled sugo, which is basically bottled tomatoes, cooked in the jar. The seeds can be seen in some varieties but it would strain well and be a great pasta sauce base for you, made from real fresh tomatoes rather than ketchup (which WE call tomato sauce).

Eggs - we don't have a problem with raw eggs here, I don't know why. I've eaten eggs fresh out of the chookhouse.

What about custard? Pouring custard of course, not baked custard. When I was a kid my mother made a lovely one, but I only liked it with chopped banana in it.

She is unlikely to starve herself purely because of food faddishness.

The smoothies I described before - you can freeze them into ice blocks for summer.

I hope you can get some peace of mind on this one.



One of the rules where difficult child went for preschool/daycare was if they wanted more of one thing, they had to taste something new. Not allowed to say "I don't like it because it LOOKS funny".
We always have a variety of different foods, we only allowed small amounts. Sometimes we put several items on his plate and insisted he try them. If only to touch with tongue it was progress from not eating at all. Didn't have to eat it, and didn't have to like it.
difficult child went a long time without eating anything, thinking he would die, even was hard to get him to drink. It was about 6 weeks with not even a single bite. It was slow coming back. Would that be an option for her to introduce new foods?
I've tried the "you have to at least try it" thing. Quite honestly, it is not worth the meltdown. When she was in daycare, they had the same rule. Lo and behold, she did taste things there, but inevitably, ate fruit for lunch every day because she never liked anything she tried.

I've tried Carnation instant breakfasts. I've tried Ensure, Pediasure, you name it. I've sweetened them with chocolate syrup. I've made them into a shake. She won't drink them.

The kid does not like rice. She does not like risotto. She does not even like mashed potatoes! Has to be pasta. Has to be angel hair. So while she is a carb freak, she is a picky carb freak. And it has to be MY gravy. I used to cook my gravy about once a month. I'd make enough to freeze leftovers, and I would cook it for about 8 hours, with meatballs and braciolle. I've altered it for Little Miss Picky. Since she wants it so often, I only use tomato sauce from a can (I omit the puree and the paste, too much acid) and cook it for about 1/2 hour. And I only have to make a little bit at a time. Since she is "too good" for leftovers.

The other issue I have is her teeth. She already has fillings and crowns on her baby teeth! One of her baby teeth rotted so bad it had to be pulled. She is a sweet freak, no doubt, but some of the "blame" lies in genetics. Her father's family has porr teeth. All of her half brothers' baby teeth rotted right out of their mouths by the time they were 4. I did pretty good with Pixie, consiering she only had a problem with one. In any event, this kid would live on nerds and Skittles if I would let her. I just don't keep it in the house. But that does not stop her from getting it elsewhere. And cereal, I can't believe the amount of sugar there is in cereal! We did come up with a compromise there. She eats Rice Krispies, but I put "sprinkles" on them (colored sugar crystals, from the baking section). I do not have to put much on, as long as she can see them. That has worked out well.

Boy am I talking a lot. Thanks again for the suggestions! Have a great day.