Guess who’s mommy made chocolate chip cookies?
I won’t call myself particularly domestic but I do love baking. And since my baby has turned into a little boy we’ve finally upgraded from mushy peas to chocolate chip cookies. It’s been really fun to let him try new food and textures and even though I try my best to give him well-balanced meals three times a day, some days he gets chicken nuggets and CoCoPops.
I also took a cue from my own mom and I never force him to eat anything he doesn’t like. We’re lucky enough that he loves veggies and fruit but on the odd occasion that he really refuses to eat something, I don’t force him to do so. This might not sound like the very best parenting technique in the world but because I’m a picky eater, I know what it’s like to eat something I really don’t want to eat. Sometimes it’s because of texture and sometimes it’s because of taste and sometimes it’s even because of smell. At the end of the day good food should incorporate all your senses. Does it look and taste and smell good? If William doesn’t like something because one of his senses doesn’t agree with it, then that’s his choice to make.
I want him to have a good and healthy relationship with food and I never want him to dread dinnertime. We also take into account what type day he’s had. Was he very busy? Did he drink a lot of water? Did he snack? It’s also not about the amount of food he consumes in one sitting. I never force him to finish the entire plate dished for him. He is finished when he is satisfied. No toddler has ever starved themselves so even though I sometimes worry that he might get hungry during the night, that has yet to happen. I don’t bribe or beg or negotiate with him.
Toddlers are still navigating their world and they don’t have control over much in their life, but eating is one of the first areas they will master. I give William choices when it comes to food, but I choose to make those choices are healthy or semi-healthy. Not every bite you put in your mouth is healthy so why should your toddler be any different? I make use of the 80/20 rule and make sure that 80% of the food choices he has is healthy, but the other 20% consists mostly of Flings and chocolate chip cookies!