Toddlers and lunchtime.
I’ve run the gamut when it comes to feeding toddlers. From the one who will eat everything placed in front of them and then insist on helping me finish what’s on my plate, through to the one who will only eat food if it is their favourite colour. This becomes a bit complicated if they only like pink that particular week.
I honestly thought I’d be one of those no-nonsense mothers who would insist on my kids finishing their food with no excuses. But experience has taught me it isn’t all that simple.
Firstly, one of my kids has certain food allergies which means that certain foods are off the menu, simply because eating them means they develop a reaction almost immediately.
Secondly, I refuse to make lunchtimes a battle ground. I have better things to do with my day. So if the offspring don’t like what I’ve prepared then they are offered some chopped fruit and vegetables as an alternative. That’s it.
Thankfully these days I rarely have to do that. I’ve learned through experience that my kids love to help prepare their own food. I think it gives them a sense of pride and usually makes them far keener to eat something they’ve prepared themselves.
So they help get the bread out of the bag. I butter it for them and together we go to the fridge and choose what will go in the sandwich. Giving them some choice has really helped. In addition to their sandwich, they have to choose a vegetable and either some cheese or fruit to accompany it.
They carefully peel the vegetable (usually a carrot) and then I chop it up for them. When Mr Small was, well, smaller, I used to microwave his carrots so they would be softer and easier for him to chew on.
To make their sandwiches more interesting I bought these recently and they’ve proved hugely popular not only for my toddler but my older children as well.
Lunchtime is an ever changing thing with children. I started out with purees when they were babies and as the years have gone on, it’s become more and more interesting.
I look forward to the day when they are able to make it for me!