According to Parents magazine, the average toddler may need to be introduced 15 times to a new food before they begin to really eat it. Moreover, 79% of parents quit trying well before then.
Foods are funny. My daughter used to live on blueberries. In fact, when she was 1 1/2 , a Tupperware bowl full of blueberries got us through more than a few experiences that required her to sit still for a prolonged period of time. Though this practice usually made for some really interesting diapers, it was my go-to snack whenever she was hungry, and I always felt good about the great benefits of the anti-oxidant rich blueberries.
Now, she rarely shows any interest in them. Likewise, she used to ask for peas as a snack.
Plain peas with no salt, no butter, and only slightly warmed.
But, again, I was happy that the little girl who always battled a full, sit-down meal, would eat such a healthy snack. Flash forward one year and her love of peas has waned a bit. She’ll eat them as a small side at dinner, but she has more fun finding them in the pod then she does putting them in her tummy.
My son, on the other, hand, eats everything I give him. It’s fascinating. He is always operating with both hands as he shovels everything in his mouth…quite an accomplishment for the toothless wonder. My husband refers to him as the “assassin”, since he figuratively kills everything on his plate.
Which leads me to another Parents magazine piece; in an article related to organization and keeping your sanity amidst childhood clutter, the self-proclaimed expert talks about the need to really clean the high chair once a week (as opposed to the regular wipe down).
This “expert” has not met my son, or any other voracious eater who is still practicing hand to mouth coordination. After every dinner meal (they tend to be the messiest) I not only have to wipe his tray down, but peel off his clothes, shop-vac his seat, and send him right to the tub.
Messy….absolutely. But he’s the happiest little guy when his tummy is full and he’s splashing Daddy.
Now if only I could get his sister to eat some real protein other than chicken tenders and meatballs….
3 years ago