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The Independence To Eat Right

Whenever I see these two things happening, I always thank God, my parents, my husband, the books that I read, the teachers of my child, the parents who shared their experiences with me, the parents who allowed us to witness their plight.. No, don’t get me wrong, this is not an acceptance speech for an award. This is because I genuinely feel about these two situations…

The Independence To Eat Right

Situation 1: When I see mothers, grandparents, maids… feeding the little ones. (By little ones, I mean 2-year-old plus kids). Patiently, putting one bite after the other into the mouths of uninterested kids. Some are even running behind the kids to feed that another bite while the child is busy playing with toys or cycling in the drawing room or simply going up and down the stairs.

Situation 2: When I see kids not eating the regular home-made food viz dal, vegetables, chapati, rice… Special and separate foods are prepared for the kids because they would not be eating what has been cooked for rest of the family. Some would not eat dal, some are fussy about vegetables, some would eat only rice, some only chapati…

How are these situations different for us?

When our child was able to sit and was able to hold a spoon in his hand, we encouraged him to eat on his own. While we ate in the dining room, his baby high chair was placed near us. But very soon, he would balk at the idea of sitting on his high chair for meals. He wanted to sit on the dining chair along with us. We let him sit with us. While we ate from our plates, he ate from his. The spilling of water, or food on the clothes or on the floor was a regular feature for a while but soon, he settled well at eating on this own. And there’s no looking back since then.

When the kid was in Class Nursery at DPS, we got a circular regarding the lunch-box policy at the school. 2 lunch boxes were to be sent every day. One should contain a fruit and the other one should have a parantha/chapati with a dry vegetable. Though it was a pain for the lazy (in kitchen) me to prepare a vegetable at 6 am for 5 days in a week, but I did it every single day. Reason? If a child had something else in his tiffin, he was made to sit in front of the class on a mat at lunch time which was simply not acceptable to my child. Once, when I had overslept, I packed a quick sandwich and I still remember his angry and hurt outburst when he came back from school.

Due to the school’s stringent lunch-box policies, the child learnt to eat all fruits and all vegetables as you couldn’t be sending the same apple/banana/potatoes or ladyfingers every day.

Also, the husband further laid 2 rules for the dining table.

Rule No. 1: Everything that is cooked at home has to be eaten.

Rule No. 2: Whatever is in the plate has to be finished.

Today, the kid is a 11-year-old, he has his likes and dislikes for food, certain things he can eat everyday and some which are not to his liking, but still he eats everything that is cooked, including the bitter gourd. And for this I am thankful to God, my…

A former pharmaceutical professional-turned-soft-skills facilitator for corporates and mother of  a 11 year old, Shilpa Garg blogs at