New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

OVER the Mealtime Struggle!!

on October 11, 2012

Since baby girl was 6 months old she has been a great eater, shoveling everything I offer her in her mouth. I’m always one to say my daughter is definitely not a picky eater. Well I must of jinxed myself because lately it’s been nothing but a struggle. My marvelous little eater turned into a picky, picky little monkey.

I spend a lot of time looking up different foods for babies, reading my recipe books, asking friends for suggestions. I get all geared up to make a delicious casserole or a great stew, buy all the ingredients, spend most of the day making it (it takes all day because with a little one can anyone actually cook in the kitchen for an hour while keeping baby entertained? The Wiggles is only 20 minute segments!)

Anyways, I make the dish put it in front of baby and within minutes most of it is on the floor, in her hair, she even goes as far as to hide it in her seat! Not to mention the melt down she has if I try to feed it to her. So I spend the majority of her dinnertime calming her down, picking up all the food off the floor (time to get a dog?), and scurrying to make something else she will hopefully actually eat.

By the end of dinner, we both look like a hot mess. I can’t believe I just struggled for an hour to get baby to eat what seems like a tablespoon of veggies, hardly any protein, all the grapes are on the floor, and pasta is in my hair. I get so worked up and worried during her meal times- she isn’t getting enough vegetables, iron, protein, dairy. The guidelines specifically state she needs half a cup of veggies a day. Ugh! She has to eat!

Yesterday I had just about had enough of the struggle, the food wasting, the mess and after talking to a fellow mummy friend, I think I had a breakthrough.

First I dissected the problem- as soon as Aud protests to a meal I make her, I give in and give her cheese and toast, yogurt or something else I know she will eat. Mostly I sit there and ask her why she isn’t eating, hoping that one day I will get some sort of feedback instead of the snarls and head turns.

So I decided that I would no longer give in. I will no longer resort to cheese, pasta, toast, or cookies as replacements for the meals she refuses, I will no longer worry so much about if one day she doesn’t have her exact servings of the food groups because she can make up for it the next day. I am going to put the food in front of her, whatever it may be, and that’s what she will have.

After making this statement out loud to her last night I think she got my point. So I attempted to make her a veggie frittata (FAIL, more like veggie scrambled eggs) with some egg noodles (weird combo?) and put it in front of her. At first she threw it on the floor, rubbed it all over her hair, whined, giggled, whined, giggled. This went on for about ten minutes. I was sitting there staring at her and thinking to myself, “Don’t give in!”

I decided I would walk away, well more like just go sit in another spot instead of right in front of her, watching her from afar. Then it happened, she picked up some of the food on her tray and put it in her mouth, a few minutes later I found myself putting more on her tray cause she was gobbling it up! She ate the whole serving and was still hungry.

So I put some grapes and milk in front of her. Same thing happened, she threw a couple on the floor, sprayed her milk everywhere but after a couple minutes started to eat them up. This was the first time in a while I felt good about dinnertime for Aud. She had her veggies, protein, dairy, and grain’s all in one meal! Who knew mealtime could be rewarding, there is nothing more satisfying then watching your child eat what you put in front of them. Here’s hoping it keeps up!

So my advice on getting your babies to eat, don’t stress about it. Put the food in front of them, let them touch it, experiment, throw it on the walls, because eventually they will be hungry enough to eat it. Don’t give in because you are worried about the food groups. I heard it takes about 15 tries for baby/toddler to come accustom to a new food. So just keep trying, give lot’s of variety, lot’s of color, texture, tastes.

If baby really doesn’t want to eat veggies, blend them, cover them with cheese, hide them in the pasta, make carrot or zucchini muffins, stuff pasta shells with spinach-put them on the tray and walk away. Trust me, your child knows that it stresses you out, nothing is more entertaining to them then watching mummy get worked up over some green beans.

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One response to “OVER the Mealtime Struggle!!

  1. […] I’m not going to go on and on again about how difficult this time of the day is for us. You can read about my dinnertime fun here.  Like I said, I just wanted to give some ideas to you who might be going through the same things […]

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