Written by Emily Dupuche with thanks to Lynda for sharing her story!
It was great to hear a mum on our team share her food journey with her first baby, now a healthy 11- year-old with a very good appetite. I’m sure you will find a lot to relate to.
“My son was going along eating really well when suddenly, and apparently out of nowhere, aged 12 months, he only wanted toast and yoghurt with fruit puree.
I remember very clearly, being a first time sleep-deprived parent, how these setbacks could feel so personal and it was hard not to be a little deflated.
I wondered what where I’d gone wrong and felt like a failure. How could my son continue to grow and thrive on toast and yoghurt alone?
There were tears (lots of them mine), tantrums and food thrown. I felt helpless and hopeless. I would cook all this beautiful food and he refused to eat to it. But something inside of me gave me the confidence to persist with my food and not give into him, which was the easy option.
Day after day, mealtimes were a battle, but persisting through the self- doubt and only rarely falling into the trap of letting him win, has paid off in the long run. Gradually, he broadened his diet and I now have a fabulous adventurous eater.
I know when you’re in the middle, it can feel like it’s taking forever, but with consistency, you will get there, and you know you are doing the best thing for them.
What helped most was cooking a kid-friendly version of what we were eating. It meant less shopping and only cooking one meal, which is a huge bonus. And as often as we could, we had his high chair at the dinner table and he ate along with us. This made it less about the food and more about the experience of sharing some time with us. Watching our enjoyment in eating may have had an impact as well.
Looking back now, I realise that time of life really was just a blip on the radar, and very quickly, my son developed a real love of food and an interest in trying new flavours; it became a pleasure, not a burden, to cook for him.
And now we cannot fill him, he even likes brussel sprouts! (I don’t!)
Finally from one parent to another don’t forget to be kind to yourself, you’re doing a great job!”
Thanks to Lynda for sharing her story. I’d like to know what was on the toast, vegemite or plain….?
It’s reassuring to know that the issue of kids narrowing their food-repertoire is so completely normal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, how you as parents react to this new-found sense of independence will determine how it plays out. Persistence and consistency are key.
Share your story with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.