As regular readers will know food is not something that goes down well in our house. So getting reluctant toddlers to eat is something we’ve had more than our fair share of.
Whilst things have undoubtably improved, given a choice most days Number Two would still choose not to eat. So to get the calories in we’ve had to be creative with our techniques.
Although on the (rare) good days we do meals in a high chair sat at the table, these are a few of the things we try on the (mostly) tricky days:
Eating Outside In The High Chair (with full view of the road)
Number Two loves birds and cars, so will tolerate eating a little more if he’s enjoying seeing things he loves.
Number Two definitely eats more when he’s walking around the house. There is less pressure, and he’s much happier to take one bite at a time than be faced with a whole plate of food in front of him.
Stealing Mummy’s Food
Like most young children, he always thinks what’s on my plate is more interesting. Putting a little of his food at the side of my plate so he thinks it’s his, usually makes it a little more appealing.
A Tiny Taste
Number Two is extremely wary of new foods, but if we can get him to taste a minuscule amount by wiping it on his lips, he can sometimes be tempted to eat a little more.
Big Sister Power
Number Two worships his big sister, and if she feeds him something will often try it, even if he won’t eat it for us. She is definitely our secret weapon.
Pack In The Flavour
Bizarrely Number Two much prefers very strong flavours to more bland foods. He always surprises us by eating things that are spicy or contain lots of herbs. The more Flavour we can get into a dish, the more likely he is to eat it.
Out And About
If he is in a cafe, in a supermarket trolley or just riding round town in his pram Number Two eats far better than he does at home. We have often joked that we really should just push him round town every meal time. Life would certainly be much less stressful if we did so.
Make The Most Of Favourites
Some weeks Number Two decides he loves one particular food. This week it’s sweetcorn. Whilst the going is good I make the most of feeding him whatever it is he likes, safe in the knowledge that next week it will be something totally different.
Ditch The Guilt
For a long time I used to worry if I didn’t present Number Two with a balanced plate of food. Now I’m much more relaxed. He will eat foods from all of the food groups (except of course dairy which he isn’t allowed), just not necessarily on the same plate at the same time.
The Distraction Of Play
Popping food in Number Two’s mouth when he is playing is one of our frequent techniques. If his hands and brain are busy, he will often accept small amounts of foods that he wouldn’t otherwise east.