The growing independence of a young eater.

The independent eater.

The independent eater.

In the past I bragged about how my perfect child would happily devour every morsel of food I put in front of her. First it was plain vegetable or fruit purees, then more flavors and textures were added. As Franny’s dexterity for feeding herself improved more finger foods were added. It was so exciting to offer new and delicious foods, every spoonful accepted with pleasure.

Well, things have changed! By no means has Frances become a picky eater, maybe just an independent eater. Anything that approaches her mouth on a spoon is rejected. The face scrunches up and the head turns. Sometimes I can get food past those pursed lips with a dessert fork, but even that is proving a challenge. I can’t blame her, I like to control the food that enters my mouth as well, but it makes meal times a little messier. How does one eat soup or porridge? Yes, hands make a great utensil, but I think Frances- much like her mother- has a bit of an aversion to stickiness on her hands. I guess this is the end of baby food!

Making a meal of finger foods isn’t hard, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel like a meal to me. I’ll have to get over that, along with the messy hands and floors! It was easy to add flavours to baby food with sauces and spices, but how do you add flavor to a piece of broccoli or a carrot stick. I really feel that it is important to keep lots of different flavours in the mix, I cringe at the thought of a child who will only eat plain pasta, cheese and water crackers. How do I make finger food exciting? How do I get Frances excited about food?

Ok mothers (non mothers too, I’m sure you are wise as well!!) impart your wisdom.

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2 responses to “The growing independence of a young eater.

  1. I’m pretty sure you are a better cook than I. My only read “advice” is to say that they go through phases. Cameron used to love spaghetti in red sauce, then he didn’t, now he does again. When we took him off gluten etc. then he became more willing to try things again. BUt I think for a lot of kids it’s a control issue. This is one of the few things they have control over in their lives. We don;t make food a war in our house. If he eats everything on his plate, he gets dessert. (And he loves dessert.) If he really doesn’t want to eat something – he doesn’t have to. He just doesn’t get dessert.

    I’m sure a s long as you are giving Frannie good things to eat – she will, at least, eat some of them.

  2. Oh one of my favorite sayings, throw a whole bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks!

    Julie your food always looks incredible and Sara always sings the praises of your cooking!
    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said Cameron was willing to try things when you changed his diet. I really think that if kids don’t get junk food they won’t crave it and will be more willing to eat healthy good stuff. I think a lot of parents feel guilty that they are depriving their kids of all that “fun” food so they give in. It’s also about convenience for some people as well.

    I guess I had better get used to all these up’s and down’s with food and be thankful that she’ll still eat her broccoli! 🙂

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