Last Friday, I received a notification that my answer was picked as the winning entry to an Instagram contest sponsored by Karen Pacia (IG@theprojectmommyger) who also blogs at https://www.theprojectmommyger.net/. Participants were asked to provide answers to the dilemma on how to deal with picky eaters.
I was so over the moon as the prize was a feeding mat which I can really use for our baby led weaning efforts.
And without much further ado, below is my winning entry:
Growing up, I’ve seen first hand how my parents get frustrated with my then younger brother during mealtimes. I’ve seen which strategy worked and which didn’t. It helped that I also attended a talk on the same subject and have been since trying to stick and be consistent with what I’ve learned. But I do remind myself time and again that even with all these to-do’s and not to do things in my list, I try to make mealtimes as enjoyable as it is chance for me to bond and touch base with my child. It is important that the dining area should be a conducive and a welcoming environment so my child can associate it with happy thoughts – distractions such as tv and mobile phones are not welcome.
I guess as it is evident that a good number of parents share this dilemma, picky-eating is something that is common behavior among children and a phase that they normally go through. I’ve learned that when dealing with picky eaters, it should all start with respecting my child’s appetite. And just with breastfeeding, I respect her appetite by letting her latch off the breast as an indication that she is full. And now that she’s a toddler, I only feed her when she’s hungry. I do not force feed. Portions should just be the right size. Whenever I have the time, I take extra effort in presenting the food in a fun way like how bento meals are done. She gets encouraged when she sees us “eat a rainbow” at the table. She can’t speak clearly yet but we introduce her as to where these “rainbows” are sourced from as she gets to sit on the grocery cart while we’re rummaging through the aisles. It is way of involving her through the entire process – from learning where her food comes from and the way it is prepared.
So far, there isn’t that much struggle and mealtimes are something that I and my child look forward to each day.