I think most parents would agree that meal times and eating are the most stressful part of having a toddler. One minute they love something and the next they won’t touch it. One day they’ll eat everything in sight and the next they won’t take a single bite.
It’s stressful and I had been putting extra pressure on both us by wanting Amelia to move on from toddler meals (you know the ones in the baby aisle that say 1+ year) and on to ‘proper food’. Turns out she had other ideas and for about a month she’s eaten only potato waffles, bakes beans, garlic bread and plain crackers.
Everything else you put in front her she will either ignore, remove from her plate and pile up on the side or throw on the floor. The photo above was my attempt to get her to try some new flavours, she didn’t eat a single thing on her plate or in the bowl of fruit. If the things she wants aren’t on her plate she will just refuse to eat anything and let’s not even talk about vegetables…
I put veggies on her plate every day on the off chance she decided to try it one day but not once did she put them anywhere near her mouth to even try it. I was started to get a little worried that she was going to be super fussy and I was going to have a child that would only eat five things.
In the end, I decided to try her with one of the toddler meals I still had in the cupboard, beef hot pot I think it was, packed with meat, veggies and good stuff and guess what, she shovelled it in her mouth faster than her little arms could move the spoon. Two thoughts came to mind that day at the dinner table; the first was ‘thank God she’s eaten something good for her’ and secondly a pang of guilt ‘has she been starving all this time and just needed this food to fill her up’.
I realised that in my mind I considered those toddler meals to not be ‘proper food’ because they’re semi-mashed up and contain only small lumps but actually, they were full of more ‘real food’ than anything else she had been eating for the last month. I was so preoccupied with her having items of food on her plate that I didn’t stop to remember that these meals are nutritious, contain tons of hidden veg and meat and are specifically designed for children aged 1-3 years old.
For a few nights now I’ve given her different toddler meals; chicken sweet and sour, spaghetti bolognese, Morrocan lamb and she’s eaten every single bite, she even tried to scoop food off her bib to get an extra spoonful. She’s fed and happy and mama’s happy because she’s full of veggies and good stuff.
I will consider that a victory and lesson learnt!