5 Ways to Make Sure Your Toddler Won’t Eat Their Food
You’ve read all the parenting books, you’ve browsed all the forums and you know EVERYTHING there is to know about weaning and what to give your growing toddler so they get all the nutrition they need to develop healthily.
There’s just one problem.
They won’t bloody well eat anything but raisins!
With this post, I hope to guide you through the minefield that is feeding your toddler and offer you some tried and tested ways to ensure that little Johnny won’t eat anything you serve him. I realise you were probably hoping for something more along the lines of sure fire ways to get them to guzzle down anything you offer. Sorry – no idea about that one…
1) Menu Choice
Ok, the key here is to pick foods that your toddler has already eaten and enjoyed. You know that one meal that was their absolute favourite last week? It’s got an expiry date (known only to your toddler). Try giving it to them now and I promise you, they’ll look at you like you’ve just served them up the contents of their own nappy.
The trick to remember is the longer you spend in the preparation of a meal, the faster your toddler will turn their nose up at it. This one is 100% foolproof. Anything over 20 minutes prep and you’re guaranteed to have your meal thrown back in your face. Probably literally!
Now this one is likely to trip a few of you up. All the books tell you to make your food look pretty. ‘Presentation is everything’ they’ll have you believe. Quite the contrary. A beautifully presented meal, on a clean, hygienic plate is almost bound to result in failure. Experience has shown me that the presentation that is almost irresistible to all toddlers is food that has been left out for a while, has gone completely cold and preferably has been dropped on the floor and trodden into the carpet a little bit. That and bugs. They love those things.
Ok, now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. I urge you to keep trying to feed your toddler yourself. They may make a grab for the spoon in a fit of independence, but hold strong and I can say without doubt, that they won’t eat a bit. Even if you manage to get a spoonful in their mouth through a mixture of clever diversions and brute force, they’ll immediately spit it out. In extreme cases, they’ll remove the food with their hands and throw it – either at you or the floor.
NB. This tip is unusual, in that the opposite is also true. Allow your toddler to take the spoon and they will still get food everywhere but their mouth, but with much greater efficiency.
To be sure that your toddler won’t touch a bite, you must show them that you really want them to. If you show any signs of pleading with them, or in fact appearing to try to get them to eat in any way, you’re done for. Game over.
If you’ve read these tips and found yourself nodding your head in agreement, then you have my heartfelt understanding and condolences. I’m pretty sure they’re all in on it. It’s a plot, and a complex one at that.
ps. No toddlers were harmed in the making of this post