Iain's been a picky eater since he turned about...2. In case you've lost count, he turned 4 in April.
His diet consists mostly of fruit and carbohydrates. Breakfast is a favorite. So he'll eat eggs (scrambled only), pancakes, waffles, French toast, biscuits, toast, and muffins. He'll eat bacon (his only meat) and oatmeal and cereal.
Outside of the breakfast pantheon, he's much more limited. Ramen, buttered noodles, and grilled cheese are it. Oh, and fruit. Any kind of fruit.
Every single night, when asked what he wants for dinner, he says: "Scrambled eggs and toast!"
But he started to loosen up in the early spring. First it was a taste of spinach (raw). Then he tried tater tots (with ketchup, naturally). In California he took a bite of chicken finger, tried Cheetos, and consented to eat one or two french fries. Yes. We are using junk food to convince him that new foods are not inherently disgusting.
We stalled in July. The biggest problem was his technique. Faced with a food he hadn't tried - one he would obviously hate - he would put a piece in his mouth and try to swallow it. No chewing. This triggered his gag reflex. So he'd gulp down milk to wash the offending morsel into his stomach.
Result? A couple of awesomely disgusting crises. I won't elaborate.
But we've been talking about his taste buds. About the different types of buds and the flavors they identify. We also talked about nutrients and the way his body's digestive system works. And when he tries a new food, we encourage him to chew. Chew! CHEW!
In addition to his two recent meals (rice a roni, salad, scrambled eggs; rice a roni, broccoli, chicken) tonight he ate a small piece of pizza. Yes, actual pizza. Something so kid-friendly that restaurants put it on their childrens' menus. He tried it, he gagged, he chewed, he liked it.
Don't get me wrong: I bribe. In return for enjoying a slice of pizza I provided a golden kiwi, a no-bake cookie and a Lego mini-figure. In this battle I have no dignity (left) to protect.
And guess what? Tonight he never even asked for "scrambled eggs and toast" for dinner.