As parents we are often fixated on everything our child won’t do and it can really eat away at us. As a stay at home dad this fixation comes with a big slice of – if my wife was the full-time caregiver would things be different? Food is no exception to this rule and when it comes to teaching your child to eat the tasty solid stuff it can be rather exhausting.
Like in life, there is usually a few ways to do something and introducing solids there are at least two. Baby led weaning and traditional weaning. This means, from the very start you are questioning your decision.
- Would he be eating more if we did it the other way?
- Would she be eating better if we did it the other way?
- Why won’t he eat?
- What have I done wrong? Maybe I should change and do the other method?
The thing is that you aren’t alone and although many parents like to keep up appearances when we are out in public, I would guess most have experienced the frustration of trying to get their child to eat.
Max has had peaks and troughs in eating and his latest low has led me to write the post. I love him to bits unconditionally but honestly, I could throw him out of a window when he won’t eat what I’ve prepared him (I hasten to add I haven’t used this method, and won’t…no need to call the police). No, he has his favourites, like the goodies crisps or fruit but when we plate up a proper main meal it currently ends with a huge tantrum and all the food being thrown on the floor.
Now we wised up pretty early on and put a mat down, not that I am hugely precious about the carpet but I can tell you, a baby sure can make a lot of mess when eating.
We’ve looked on forums, chatted to other parents and sure enough, the general advice is that it’s just a phase. Unfortunately for me, this doesn’t make it any less frustrating but I do agree, you can’t make your child suddenly want to eat again and all you can do is keep offering it.
My current dilemma is whether you keep giving them what you know they will eat? Or do stop giving them their favourites? Tricky right?
Now I haven’t mentioned which method we chose to do with Max, maybe you have guessed, maybe not. Either way, I’m not going to share because it’s totally irrelevant and I suppose that is my point. Every child will go through phases like this and the only way of getting through it is to support each other as parents and sigh a collective sigh.
I joined a few facebook groups recently (how 21st century of me) and it was such a relief to see others having the exact same issues as me and all using totally different and opposite methods.
In short, if you are banging your head against the wall because your child won’t eat don’t worry because 99% of the time right down the street another parent will be going through the exact same issue.
It’s in our nature to second guess ourselves as parents because we want the best. Sometimes it’s good just to take a minute to appreciate what a great job you are doing and take a breather.
You know what is right for your child and everything you do is for their benefit.
You got this Mama and Papa!
Previously published on dadofboy.com