God I love dinner time. As a food enthusiast nothing brings me more joy than the end of the day when I can sit down, relax and enjoy a good bite to eat. This sentiment is unfortunately not shared by my 17 month old twins who damn well seem to hate not only dinner time but pretty much any meal time that’s not breakfast. Now as a self-confessed breakfast loather, there’s a certain sense of irony in the fact that your kids love what you don’t and vice versa…dare I say this will be the pattern of the future.
If however you are like me, you may be in the middle of a food war! By the time 4.30pm rocks around in my house, my palms are getting sweaty (thanks Eminem) my heart rate is going up and I am anxiously waiting for 5pm to rock around and all hell to break loose! To be fair we are usually half way there as witching hour is more like death hour under our roof, and I really do feel for my neighbours.
But seriously I just do not get toddlers and eating! It’s beyond me! How can one little person just hate eating almost everything you put in front of them no matter what, then suddenly love it! How on earth can one thing be the best thing you’ve eaten one day and absolutely repulsive the next!
Just recently, Hunter (my fussy eater – seriously this kid would just eat puree fruit and biscuits if he could), wolfed down an entire banana after being on a banana strike for over a month. Flushed with such a positive outcome I quickly texted PIC (partner in crime Chris) and requested he got some bananas on the way home cos “Hunter’s back on them baby!”. He rushed in the door with an impressive 5 bananas only for me to find the next day that banana is back on the black list and I’m now offering up banana bread to the whole town!
Even Harry my good eater can throw some random curve balls! Last night I conjured up a delicious bowl of cheesy shepards pie complete with all the hidden veg (As per “the book”) that no toddler would EVER find…only to discover it was promptly placed on his head, the floor, the carpet 3 meters away and under his brother butt – what the?
Feeding toddlers can be an absolute nightmare! Despite my best efforts if you have a fussy eater (or 2) then it can become one of the most anxious stages of your day (almost on parallel with sleep time!). I can do nothing but laugh (or cry) when I read through website after website of delicious looking pics of vegie nuggets, corn cakes and other highly nutritious bite size wonders labelled “food your toddlers will love”…ha who are these toddlers and where can I get 2? Cos Mine certainly aren’t them!
Hours are spent poured over a hot stove trying to hide carrots in mac and cheese and peas in lasagna only for it all to end in tears (3 ways) and nothing but half a vegemite sandwich or a piece of raisin toast is eaten!
So here’s the thing to all the other mums struggling with fussy eaters and painful meal times…anything is better than nothing!
Long gone are my days of hoping to jam pack things with nutrients (lasted a week or 2)…now anything will do!
I have some days when I will try 6 things! From sausages, to vegies, roast sweet potato, vegemite on bread, fruit toast, fruit pieces, puree fruit and yoghurt only to find more than half of it is in the bin or on the floor but, if something gets eaten we are winning.
The so called pro’s will tell you push through, focus on the nutrition, but the truth is take the wins when you get them! Try, but if it’s going to get too stressful then give them a bloody piece of bread and some yogurt, walk away and try again tomorrow!
If you’re kids are healthy (not too over weight) and happy and eating something not nothing then as a parent – YOU ARE WINNING!
And don’t forget to look after mum, the endless battles are exhausting along with the rest of parenting…so pick your battles and don’t forget…WINE IS YOUR FRIEND!