If your toddler's picky eating is consuming your worries and making mealtimes miserable, know that your battle is likely nothing compared to that of the parents of 19-month-old Alex Tesoriero. The toddler will literally eat nothing. In fact, he's never even tasted food.
His story is heartbreaking, and if your child will eat nothing but mac and cheese, it will make you grateful he or she will at least eat that.
According to a Fox News story, the Sydney toddler was born 11 weeks prematurely, and it's thought that perhaps all the tubes that were necessary to keep him alive initially created a fear in him of anything going near his mouth. The most devastating part: He avoids his parents' kisses as well.
For more than a year, his parents have tried to offer him food of all sorts, but he'll have nothing to do with it. He's kept alive via a feeding tube in his stomach. Doctors says there's nothing physically preventing him from eating, but rather it's a psychological problem. His mother described how emotionally draining it has been:
Trying to get Alex to eat is the worst part of my day and everyone ends up in tears. Just coming near his face is distressing for him and it's 100 percent due to all the treatment that he has had. Alex has chronic lung disease and remained on oxygen for the first 12 months of his life, so he has always had tubes stuck to his face. When we try to feed him, he either won't open his mouth or he'll just freak out.
I can't imagine just how much pain they are in watching their son refuse to eat, especially after making it through so many other hurdles preemies face. Food is one of the most basic ways we nurture our children, and to not be able to do that has got to be devastating.
I knew a woman a few years back who had a son on the extreme end of picky eating, and it crushed her. She felt like a failure as a mother and could barely eat any food herself as the problem grew. Eventually they had to go to an in-patient treatment center where her son eventually learned to eat. Hopefully this family will be able to find a similar solution.
Do you have an extreme picky eater?
Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr