Etiquette and manners fly out the window when eating with a toddler. It’s about filling that belly, not looking good.
I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to be one of those moms who didn’t let their baby get messy. And boy does he get messy. He has learned that the hands are the most effective utensils. When a fork or spoon just isn’t cutting it, he turns to his hands as the shoveling tool of choice.
We started the journey into solid food when he was almost 6 months old. I gave him the basic purees that I would make, but decided I would also give Baby Led Weaning a try. Basically, I gave him small pieces of soft fruits or veggies and let him try to feed himself. Once he got his pincher grasp down, there was no turning back. This kid ate EVERYTHING! It was easy because he would eat what we were eating. No special meals, just one big family dinner.
I started making homemade oatmeal with chunks of apples. I think that is where he love of oatmeal started. If he is finicky, I know that he will ALWAYS eat a bowl of oatmeal. I started giving him a spoon before he turned one and he LOVES it. Apparently, food tastes better with a spoon or fork.
I would try to give him oranges for lunch hand he would refuse. UNTIL I gave him a fork. Then oranges were all of the sudden yummy.
One thing is for sure, this child is a CARB LOVER. He loves bread. Grilled cheese is his sandwich of choice, but he will eat a hunk of bread any day of the week.
He has developed a routine, if you will, for meal time. He always starts with his favorite foods first on his plate. His yogurt is usually the first to go. And, like I said, if the spoon isn’t getting the food to his face fast enough then its on to his hands for sure.
Meal time is definitely about him being Mr. Independant. He never wants my help. He will actually grunt at me and push the spoon away if I try and feed him. It’s like he feels belittled. Mom, I am a big boy and I can do it myself! I will offer him an iten and he will refuse it. I shrug and put the spoonfull down. He IMMEDIATELY reaches for the utensil and shovels it in his mouth. Okay, didn’t I just offer that. Nope, taking it from me means he’s doing what I want him to do and he will have NONE of that.
He is also VERY demanding. If that food runs out he will let you know that he wants more with a little intonation in the word “more.” I usually dont give him juices with his meals, but I do drink a glass of OJ or milk with breakfast or dinner. Occassionally he will point to my drink and give me a look as if to say “GIVE ME YOUR DRINK, WOMAN.”
Breakfast and lunch are relitively clean meals, but, for some reason, dinner time is a shirt-off affair because thi boy gets DIR-TAY! Messy hair, don’t care. Food on his belly and in between his fingers? that’s not a problem. The best part is when he is all done and decides rubbing it into his tray would be fun. Look mom, food art. Sometimes, he will feel generous enough to share his scraps with Sara. Never the good stuff though… NEVER. He also likes to use my husband as a napkin. He will reach out as if to pat Justin on his back and give a cute smile. Little did Daddy realize, but Austin was just wiping leftovers on his shirt. The way we know he is done for sure is if our little dare devil flips around and stands up in his chair. Now commences the “I’m Done Game.” He will shoot up in no time flat and give a little wave and smirk. Oh, he knows he is being naughty, but it’s his little way of saying “Hi, I’m done, let me go play now.” We will yell “SIT DOWN” and the moment I come to physically plop his little booty back down is when he shoves his palm towards me and grunts “NO.” Lovely child, just lovely. He is going to fall flat on his face one of these days. I know, I know. The simple fix-it would be to strap him in. I’ll work on it.
Recently, he has been getting picky with veggies. I have to hide them in his meals. He LOVES the fruit and veggie pouches, so that makes getting veggies in easier.
I even went so far as to make a butternut squash quick bread. He mowed down on that like it was candy. Speaking of candy, this child loves, and I mean LOVES, chocolate. He basically has a little seizure each time he gets a bite. He can hear the wrapper opening from a mile away. Daddy is quite the chocolate eater and he NEVER forgets to let Austin have a bite. For if he did forget, that would be a fatal mistake.
And so continues are food journey. 🙂