Does your toddler eat everything that you put in front of them with a smile on their face?
No? Neither does mine.
Wouldn’t it be great though, if every meal you made they devoured like it was the best thing to ever cross their lips. Saying “thanks Mummy, this is delicious.”
Instead you get an array of “I don’t like it,” “yuk” and Immy’s firm favourite when seeing her meal of “what’s Immy going to eat?” with a look of disgust on her face (as pictured here).
Unfortunately I don’t have the golden answer to make your toddler eat more like a human again, but I can share with you our journey and my thoughts on the matter, and hopefully we can find comfort in knowing we are not alone!
So there may be some people reading this whose little love doesn’t say no to everything. And to those people I say well done! That’s amazing and keep doing what you’re doing. But to the majority of you, and I’m speaking from experience talking to my toddler mum friends; we’ve got this! This time shall pass and our toddlers won’t always live off Weetabix, yogurt and cheese (or in our case rice, sweetcorn and broccoli).
Isn’t it weird how they ate everything as a baby too. Leading us into a false sense of security thinking we’ve cracked it and have a brilliant little food monster on our hands.
Immy’s favourite foods aren’t necessarily bad for her, but it can get quite boring making rice, broccoli and sweetcorn all the time. And to be honest, we don’t want to make her something different from the rest of us every night.
Here’s the thing. Tabby and Wilf have always been offered the same food. Exactly the same, at exactly the same time. However, Wilf will eat everything we give him like it’s his last meal. Tabby is pretty good too, but she won’t touch fruit (unless from a pouch mixed in porridge). So I firmly believe that you can do everything weaning books tell you to, and still your baby might not like some things. Like adults, they may like some things and not others. Yes they will probably grow to love them, I’m sure Tabby won’t always be a fruit dodging darling. But give them time. I didn’t like coriander for a long time, and now I’ll eat it by the handful (literally).
Back to toddlers though.
Immy was never the best eater, but she was way better than she is now. Here’s her typical day:
Breakfast: cereal and toast. Always demands toast, never eats it (unless she’s at nursery, what’s with that)?
Lunch: Ham sandwich (currently only eats the ham part), fruit and yogurt.
Dinner: Pasta (either devours or rejects depending on the day). On a rejection day it often ends in her eating cereal and yet again more fruit. We have a fruit bat on our hands and it’s one of the only things that she has never rejected. Watch her reject it now I’ve said that. She’s forever doing everything I say she doesn’t do.
This is just a typical day. We offer a variety of food, usually what we are eating. But the results are usually the same. Reject all but fruit and yogurt. Unless it’s rice, sweetcorn or broccoli. It could be worse I guess, at least we know she would survive on I’m a Celebrity. But some days I wish she would eat ‘kids food.’ She’s never been a fan of things like pizza, chicken nuggets etc. She despises chips. Who knew there could be a child who rejects a Happy Meal!
She’s definitely destined for a life in the Mediterranean though – aside from the I’m a Celeb diet, a platter of cheese, ham and olives followed by a fruit platter would be her kryptonite. I’m sure she will share her mother’s love of red wine too one day. But until then her favourite tipple is an ice cube melted in her mouth. I’m not even joking.
It used to bother me that Immy wouldn’t eat a variety of food. But I think I got to the stage where I thought, oh well, as long as she’s surviving then that’s all I can do.
I’ve read a few things on this matter, and there is so much contradicting advice. Offer them an alternative if they at least try what’s been offered. Don’t offer them an alternative and they will eventually eat it (this usually ends in a standoff in our house. Immy always wins). They will eat what’s offered if they are hungry. Or just give them something you know they will eat.
Who knows what the answer is. We’ve tried most of these but nowadays we just let her have cereal for breakfast and dinner if she refuses what’s been given (providing she has tried some), and a deconstructed ham sandwich for lunch. Perhaps our expectations are too high expecting her to eat some of the things we have? I have no idea, but there’s still a glimmer of hope that one day she will just tuck into what we offer her in the evening.
Has anybody reading this come out the other end of the toddler diet years and can shed some light?
Those who still have a toddler – what’s their go to meal?
Comment away below!