Feeding my younger two children was a breeze. Both would slurp down their bottles to the last drop. One would eat 2 jars of baby food; the other 3 jars. At the end of the meal, both would gulp from a sippy cup. Once table food was introduced, my youngest became a veritable gourmand within weeks of starting table food. He ate ANYTHING…clam chowder, chili, Chinese food, any pasta dish. Whenever I would feed either one of these two, I could not help but remember the epic feeding battles with my oldest.
She was a different eater entirely. While she guzzled down bottles and slurped from a sippy cup like a champ, her enthusiasm for food never materialized. It was nonexistent. She briefly had an “orange” phase where she ate small bites of cheese, canteloupe, and cooked carrots, but this phase ended almost as soon as it began. Without the “orange” foods to tempt her, I was back to square one with food.
While her younger brother and sister were quickly eating 2-3 jars of baby food at each sitting, I measured my oldest’s intake of baby food in terms of spoons. And by spoons I mean those plastic coated baby spoons. Some days I would spend almost an hour to get her to eat two baby spoons of apple sauce. She was a fighter. She fought with the strength of a child twice her weight. She would slap the high chair tray. She would hold on to the back of the high chair seat with both hands so that her back was arched. She couldn’t undo the safety belt, which was a blessing since she would surely have wriggled and wrestled and toppled out of the high chair. She even wore an emblem of her dislike of baby food…two large stains, one on each shoulder of her shirt. Her stains were her battle scars.
Once on table food, she ate with a teeny bit more enthusiasm even though her portions were itsy bitsy teeny weeny. That kid was determined to do it her way from her first seconds of life. Eating table food was no different. Gradually, her eating picked up as I gave her more control. She wanted to feed herself so I made oatmeal the consistency of wall paper paste so she could pick up a clump and happily eat. I would pour ketchup in to one of the divided sections of her plate so that she could dip her food in the ketchup.
Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored writes about her strategies to get her kids to eat vegetables. Did you have any tried and true methods for gettings veggies in to the mouths of picky eaters? I’m not a cook so pureeing veggies in to spaghetti sauce wasn’t my thing. My toddler loved peas. Loved picking peas up with her pincer fingers. All was well until the day I was distracted at the kitchen table stuffing FedEx envelopes for pickup. As busily as I prepared my packets for mailing, she was equally as busy dropping the peas one by one on the floor. I remember looking over, seeing her high chair tray, and congratulating myself on finding not only a food she liked but a food to keep her busy…that is until I looked under her chair at the mounds of peas. Doh!
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