I’ve said before that Alice was a fairly easy baby and when it came to weaning she was very text book. She went through a period when she was two years old to only want to eat select foods, but she still ate them and I just used to rotate the few meals she would eat. Knowing this was a phase and she would come through it I didn’t stress over it.
And that exactly what happened and she now eats pretty much anything I put in front of her. Alice has limited fruit that she likes, but she likes most vegetables, so I can’t complain. The only frustrating thing I have with Alice, is she takes ages to finish her food. But I hold my tongue, because she always finishes it.
Then our little Holly came along and I took the same approach with her, it is what I knew and as it worked for Alice I didn’t see any reason to do anything different. I would say that I actually found Holly easier to wean, she seemed to like everything and ate really quickly.
The point that it started to become more challenging to feed her, was when we moved from baby/toddler food to giving her meals exactly like we were eating. Breakfast and lunch she will eat, normally with no problem, just the usual battles that every parent has with a two year old.
But when it comes to dinner time she just isn’t interested in eating most days. There are days where she will sit and eat about half of her dinner. But this won’t be a nutritious dinner, it will be pizza or chicken nuggets and chips. But some days she won’t even eat this. It’s like she isn’t hungry or she just doesn’t like cooked food.
There are days where I really stress about it and worry that she isn’t eating enough or getting everything that she needs. But other days I try not to worry and hope that she will turn a corner soon. I remember a health visitor telling me a few years ago, to never look at their intake for one day, but to look at it over a week. As some days they won’t be as hungry, just like us as adults and other days they will eat all the food! This is true and I’ll always be grateful for those words of advice.
A time when I get most stressed about it is when we are anywhere with no other people and I feel like they are watching (judging) what Holly is or in most cases isn’t eating. On these occasions I really am at my most relaxed with her, and just try to get her to eat as much as I can without it becoming an issue. I think it’s only one meal and not worth the stress. But, I’m left with that feeling that people must think ‘Holly didn’t eat much’!
We’ve tried a lot of the usual tactics and nothing works. She is quite happy to watch all three of us eat an ice cream and her to go without, as she didn’t eat her dinner. She is just not bothered and so bribery doesn’t work!
As we head towards her third birthday I’m hoping that getting older will help, but I really don’t know. I feel like I’ve got to the point where I’ve just accepted it and I’m not sure that is a good thing.
But, how do you make a child eat, when they don’t want to?