Feeding toddlers. When to give in?

Whenever I hear my son let out this special little excited giggle I know he’s spotted something good. I immediately think to myself, crap, did I leave out my chocolate bar? Once my son has something good in his sights it’s do or die. He either gets it – and will be unbelievably happy, or he doesn’t and will throw a fit. In our house, that means anything that is a treat – or resembling a treat is put away to a place he can’t see or reach.

Everyone slips up though. When I do leave out that goody I’m left with the decision of whether to let him have a taste or not. This sort of decision is something parents have to deal with daily. Should you give in and feed your toddler hot dogs or should you feed him whole wheat chicken and black bean burrito?  If I don’t feed him things he likes, he won’t eat. Like at all. I’ve tried it. He’ll go an entire day and not eat anything. Or, he’ll remove the veggie burger from the bun and eat the bun 🙂 He’s been known to dive in to something, only to quit as soon as he has seen a veggie. I feel guilty if he’s not eating health and I feel guilty if he’s skipping meals. Just leaves me wishing there was some magic trick for getting children not to be so picky!

We definitely “hide” veggies in this household – but the only dishes I can successfully hide veggies in are smoothies and mac and cheese. Any other ideas?

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5 thoughts on “Feeding toddlers. When to give in?

  1. I don’t mind my kids trying some of the junk-y things I eat, but they’ve got to eat the good stuff. We include a lot of different foods in our diet, prepared different ways, to encourage them to eat or try them. I don’t force the issue though, I ALSO don’t let them have ‘seconds’ or ‘more’ of one thing if they haven’t eaten everything else first. My favourite phrase is probably: “If you’re not going to eat that, then you’re not that hungry.” I don’t think my little ones will starve themselves, and they’re great at trying everything we put in front of them.

    Holy ramble, sorry, haha, I’m tired!

  2. kristencici says:

    Yea, I really struggle with it sometimes. There are a lot of unhealthy foods that I love (ahem, chocolate doughnuts, ahem) and I let him try them because I know how amazing they are so I want him to taste them too. But that isn’t a very common occurrence. Fortunately, he loves fruit. It’s just meat and veggies we are having issues with. I definitely need to work on trying a variety of things. There are some things he just won’t eat (soup, runny anything, most “good” meat like steak pork and chicken). I’ve tried but he won’t, so now I just don’t make them for him. Which sucks because I want him to eat them and like them. Just another one of the eight million things parents worry about 🙂

  3. The bun thing is hysterical! My husband loves buttered bread with dinner but that’s all my two year old will eat of his dinner then. At least my 2 year old tried corn for the first time yesterday. I told you that you’d like it!

    • kristencici says:

      I know! It’s like he knew it was a “veggie” burger. He has eaten normal hamburger/cheeseburgers before but he has a sixth sense for veggies. It’s gotten to the point where we often don’t even bring out bread, etc until he has eaten his other food – or I serve it with something I know he already loves (i.e. pasta and breadsticks).

      • Exactly! I don’t know how they know it’s a healthy version but they do. Then one day he’ll love spaghetti or something and the next he’ll be like no way! But you loved it yesterday?!

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