Toddlers are savages with shitty palates for food. When my kid is hungry, there is no stopping him. However, his tiny taste buds have figured out how to be picky in the last couple of months. The pediatrician nailed that one when he told me that this was coming at his 12 month appointment and I said so confidently, “he eats everything.” I know he was laughing on the inside at me because he knew this torture was coming.
If my son doesn’t like something there is no question about it. He opens his mouth and sticks his tongue out, letting the food fall from his mouth into his bib. No remorse or apology for it.
Toddlers are gross.
I do want to brag that he knows his sign language well enough for some manners. He knows “more,” “please,” “all done” and “thank you” is getting better.
This has been very helpful for us as parents. But not knowing what he really wants to eat is tough. If we have meals that are all mixed together like a stir-fry, he eats it all. Veggies too. No questions asked. If it’s separated or not on his plate before he starts, we are SOL. (shit out of luck)
He wants to be independent too. Don’t think about helping him. He is practicing and doing well with his fork and spoon. Heaven forbid you try to help him successfully have consecutive bites. No way, Jose!
Of course this is all part of his development. I have learned that I’m not going to fight him right now. Phases will come and go with food for now and if he is eating some of it, it is better than nothing. Believe me, this nugget isn’t wasting away!
Sure I wish I was the pinterest mom who made fun snacks that he would magically love and devour. I consider myself a realist though and live by doing what works for us.
Here’s a few examples from this week of what we had for dinner and offered him versus what he actually ate. Reminder he is almost 17 months old…
Note: If you’re going to judge me by what my son eats and what we do, get off of here right now.
Every parent parents differently. So negative Nancy’s are not welcome.
What he was offered on Monday: Fresh beef with peppers, onions and cheese.
What he actually ate on Monday: French fries & fork full bites of ketchup.
What he was offered on Tuesday: Venison backstraps, freshly foraged mushrooms, and a baked potato mashed the way he loves them because I’m my crotch goblin’s bitch.
What he actually ate on Tuesday: frozen chicken nuggets & sweet potato bites.
What he was offered on Wednesday: Homemade meatballs, a shrimp, and mixed veggies.
What he actually ate on Wednesday: mac & cheese only by the handful and abruptly asking for more when he finished it.
He is clearly sticking to his guns and eating what he loves. Of course he eats other meals through the day and is also picky at daycare. It is what it is though and for right now, we will work with what we got!
Tricks for our son that I’ve learned to do during this picky toddler phase:
• We give him the fruit/veggie pouches to get veggies in as a snack for the day. He loves those!
• A pediatrician told me to try foods he tends to dislike in the morning rather than evenings. I have yet to try but she said we are all typically more hungry in the a.m. and he would be more willing to try them then.
• Fruit for snacks rather than goldfish or crackers. He loves grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas!
• Make recipes with items mixed before he sees it. Things like veggie stir-fry with chicken, spaghetti with meatballs and some veggies mixed in, or any sort of those types of meals.
• Ignore him. He tends to try things when he thinks I am not looking then realizes he likes it and will finish it. It’s hard to do that but it does work 3 out of 5 times.
• Realize you’re keeping this human alive and doing great. Mac and cheese for a meal as a toddler is just fine. Sometimes for us too! It’s not forever.