Monday, December 4, 2023

Eat, Eat.

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( There was a time that I could hand my son a fried mushroom and he would ask for a bowl. If I tried that now, they would probably end up on the floor. Through the past two, going on three, years as a newbie parent there have been moments that have tested my patience and expanded my knowledge. It has made me learn to pay special attention to the little things when it comes to my children. Lately, food has become a hotly debated topic with my two year old. He is beginning to assert himself in various areas of his life to show that he’s a big boy. What he eats has become our battleground and the dishes are ammunition.

My little spider monkey is as picky as they come now. I can place his favorite food, or what I assumed was his favorite, in front of him and it’s met with a turned head and pursed lips. Then again, I can place something he’s never seen in front of him and he devours it with a fervor unmatched. Choosing foods for him is a task not even Gordon Ramsay would want to try. Finding a solution for this problem required research and test trials of different foods.

black kid eating 2021

What I have learned when your tiny human rejects food that he once liked is to keep it in your back pocket. Chances are your toddler will come back to it on another day. Another reason he may not eat is because of the flavor. I will not lie; I was one of those parents who slept on their child’s taste buds until I gave him a fried mushroom. Children are smarter than we give them credit for and their taste buds are as sophisticated as ours. Yet, we have to take it slow and introduce new flavors and foods. On the flip side, don’t give in to the temptation of cooking your little person bland tasteless food as it less likely they will expand their preference. Then you will have to deal with a 26 year old who only eats macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets and that’s not what you want. If your child is hung up on the look of the food, then it’s best to try and build something they know with it. It is like word association but with food.

If it looks like something they recognize then they are more likely to try it out. Adults are the same way when we ask how something tastes we tend to try and associate another food with it to get a thought of what it tastes like. Another key to getting your picky kid to eat is to take the cup away while they’re eating. My son will drink his entire cup of water or juice and pick at his plate. As we all know, liquids just give you the sensation of being full. This is the period where you have to teach control and drink only when you need to, say to clear your throat. Of course, your child won’t understand this, but practice makes perfect. Then there are children whose food cannot touch under any circumstances. An obvious fix for this is a sectioned plate to make the child comfortable.

With anything, patience and practice will help your toddler master food in no time. This picky stage is them feeling their way through the world just as we did with our parents. I have had to learn not to get upset or feel a type of way because my kid doesn’t want to eat what I cooked. It’s a humbling experience and most parents look over this time as one where kids are just babies with bland pallets. In reality, they are avid foodies just like adults. They are just more likely to tell you that your food was nasty.

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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