Have you ever been super excited to read something that justifies the way you feel/act/think? Color me super excited. Right, wrong or indifferent.
I was reading What to Expect the Toddler Years yesterday. Cause I hadn't picked it up in a while and there have been occasions in the last few days/weeks that I mistook my sweet little boy for the spawn of Satan. Turns out, he's normal.
I came across the following as an answer to a question about a mother-in-law who insisted that her grandchild eat what everyone else is eating:
When your mother-in-law did her mothering tour of duty, toddlers were no less picky, yet catering to their quirks was considered inexcusably indulgent. The dinner table was a tight ship run by the adults of the house; balking at rations of baked chicken and green beans and demanding peanut butter sandwiches instead was considered mutiny. You ate what was put in front of you, or you were denied your just dessert.
But things have changed. It's now accepted by dietary experts (though not necessarily by grandmothers) that you can't make her eat what's put in front of her, at least not without precipitating an ugly battle. And ugly battles fought over food in childhood, studies show, too often leave scars--in the form of eat disorders, abnormal eating habits, and/or weight struggles-- that can last a lifetime.
Eating should be a pleasant, unpressured experience for a child, guided not just by an adult's good sense, to a large extent by her own hunger, tastes and appetite.
Letting a young child go for months on nothing but cereal, milk, and pasta, or bread and cheese (assuming a few well chose fruits and/or veggies are thrown in for good balance) isn't indulgent or irresponsible, but perfectly acceptable. In fact, there's something inherently unfair about insisting that children eat what's put in front of them, when grown-ups enjoy a great deal of freedom of choice at the table.
So let her eat cake (fruit-sweetened, whole grain, carrot cake, for example) and milk for breakfast instead of the oatmeal everyone else is having. Or a bowl of cold cereal with bananas and milk for lunch instead of the tuna sandwiches on the menu. Or cottage cheese and cantaloupe for dinner instead of the salad and fish you're eating. Make the foods you're serving an option should your toddler impulsively decide to break from her traditiopnals favorites, but don't pressure her and don't let anyone else pressure her, either.
I stress a lot about what Cannon eats. When he eats. A repertoire of corndogs, chicken, fruit, and orange crackers at the present time. 'Some kids are just picky' I tell myself all the time. 'When he's 3 I will make him eat what we are eating' is my current mantra. Was my current mantra. Until I read this little gem. It makes sense doesn't it? I swear I didn't write it. But I will live by it.
That's my time for today folks. Lots of love from me coming though... I have blog posts on the brain!
The Best part? Anyone notice I hit 50 followers? No? Just me?