Struggles are unending for a mum.
You get the drill when your fussy eater shows tantrum and it resonates with life, undoubtedly.
When I started feeding Keisha solids, I was ecstatic. That too at another level. I mean it is our bliss, seeing our child eat. And when they transition to eating on their own, it’s super satisfying, more than shopping for diamonds. I promise.
But the ecstatic mindset that was lingering in my head turned all gloomy, when my then 7 months old, started throwing new tantrums and trust me, she wouldn’t eat.
She still doesn’t, but how much shall I complain?
She has always been a fussy eater, still is, but instead of complaining (which I surely did, somewhere), I figured out a few strategies.
There went immense research. Several youtube videos were seamlessly watched and after much of book reading, I sincerely prepared a to-do list that I had to try.
Only God knows I was highly anticipating that she will now eat. I mean, come on, I had put in so much effort, she has to eat now. The Gyans (knowledge) from the internet can’t go wrong.
But here’s me, she still won’t eat.
That’s the thing, you cannot let them make eat if they don’t want to.
Here doctor visits won’t help too. All they have to say – “every child does it. Have patience. They will eventually eat with time, as they reach a good age.”
What is the good age, she’s 15 months and still makes me go insane.
With all the tantrums, here I sat all dejected, overwhelmed (which we mothers always are), and looking for godsend magic that shall make her eat.
To answer this big question let me simply put it in few pointers, for some self-satisfaction-
1. Analyse their eating pattern
Every toddler has a specific eating pattern. Some eat less, others eat more. Some eat at regular intervals, others need a full meal, and they are good to go. Also, moms how much one toddler eat, it is unfair to compare with other toddlers. Once you get the knack of their eating habits, everything is done.
There may be days when they totally skip eating, but that is again some toddler tantrum you are targeted with.
2. Change their meal plan
Alternate the food. Yes, it has worked out for me, like a dream. Like us, toddlers like to experiment with new foods, especially good looking food.
Try experimenting with the regular meal, adding some colours and a variety of veggies. They may not be having that at first, but don’t ditch it there. Keep trying daily and they’ll answer your prayers.
3. Don’t stop trying
This has worked very well for me. Today, when Keisha won’t eat and turn her face away from food, I make sure to try it for at least 50 times, I have to. The meal that has been prepared with so much love, time and ingredient can’t go to waste.
This is the trick, they may try to get fussy with continuous trials, but hey — Moms never lose.
4. Never FORCE
This has to be taken with due respect as being a mom, I have done it too. You lose it, after endless trying and that is all normal. But again, you cannot let them EAT with this trick.
5. Distract them
Be gentle with your toddlers and try distracting them with a toy or board game. Reading stories, or playing some music may also help. I am not sure how much this has worked for other mothers, but it totally did for me.
To confess you all, I sometimes gave Keisha screen time as well, just to make her eat. That’s wrong on my part, but a saddened mother would do anything, I Believe.
6. Let them eat themselves
There’s nothing like seeing your child eat, on their own. So when they want to, let them be. They create a hell of a mess, but that is totally alright! They are at an age where they love to explore food, no matter they won’t eat but the touch, feel of it may embark the journey of soulful eating.
Important note for mothers
We’ve all been there and seriously it has affected me to a level that I had broken down to tears not once, not twice but innumerable times. It breaks any mothers heart when the child stops eating for continuous three days in a row. I would suggest if they are on milk/breastfeeding, things are normal. You need to rush down to the doctor if cases are different.
In the end, don’t break down. Lift your spirit up, and chase them with more love and endless bouts of kisses.
Every day is a struggle with a toddler, but you need to cherish it, more than whining about it.
Hope it finds you helpful. If it really did, don’t shy away from dropping a comment or two, how you took care of your toddler’s eating habits?