I have this daily tussle with my toddler. Either she wins or I loose.
My daughter doesn’t like to eat anything good and healthy. But I know, I am not the only mother in this world complaining about this. Having seen my sister’s kids not eating properly, my husband and I used to proclaim that we’ll make our kid eat everything and instil healthy eating habits in toddlers. We would discuss all sorts of ways we would adopt to make her eat. We would reason why some kids would not eat. Most of the time ending up with the same opinion: that either parent of these kids did not set example by themselves eating everything or parents were not assertive enough!
But it was once again proved that being opinionated is a wrong attitude. I am now frustrated that my daughter doesn’t cherish food and more than that, that my sister makes fun of me and tells me “I told you so!” whenever I call her to get ideas about how to make my daughter eat.
I mean, when did my daughter learnt to say, “No, won’t eat” (nai khaunga!!) in her broken language. I didn’t teach her that. And when did she realize that chocolates and candies are yummy when I didn’t expose her to any of these. I was religiously following the parenting guides and Ped advice that promised me ways that will help to raise a kid with healthy habits. She was BF exclusively for 6 months and then was introduced one baby-food at a time to keep a watch on her allergies. Put very little or no salt was the expert advice. Have you ever tasted instant babyfood – Cerelac or Farex or whatever. They are so bland and my girl never liked them, any of them. I tried umpteen times in infinite ways, wasted loads of money and food. I tried homemade purees, juices, puddings, soups. She would never even taste it willingly and spat it if fed forcefully. But they were so sure that taste doesn’t matter to babies.
Then how come my daughter finally liked Amul butter, that is so salty in one go and she absolutely loved pizza and pasta, the very first time. She tasted just once and her seemingly short short-term memory could remember it permanently. And guess what now that the devil is out, Ped has shown me red sign telling me he doesn’t have the miracle solution for toddlers who doesn’t eat. Huh, why on earth, did I listen to him previously? Life would have been so simple, had chocolates, candies and all the junk food in this world was as healthy as tasty it is.
Now, every day is a battle. Will she, won’t she? Sometimes she eats the regular meal but that is sometimes which is rare. I have concluded that along following the advices, I should always bear in mind that she is a growing individual and not a robot running on a manual. She has her own mind that processes my teachings in her own sweet ways and I am grudgingly coming to terms with the fact that parental control is just an illusion. Sometimes I wonder, if we are the last generation who listened to their parents and will listen to their kids. Okay, this is it for now as it is time to negotiate terms of eating with my daughter. Who knows she might just oblige me today! Wish me luck 😉
Roohi Bhatnagar is a passionate writer and an artist who also works for IT industry to earn her living. She is a doting mom of a cute daughter. Her stories have been published in “Chicken soup for Indian Souls” series and her paintings have been part of local exhibitions. These days her life’s mantra is to clutter the platter. Apart from the dream world where she often wanders you can also find her at her blog “Soulful“. Her twitter handle is @roohibhatnagar.