Anything to Get My Toddler to Eat!
When my toddler started going through phases of just sitting in the highchair in front of his food tray and zoned out in front of the TV, I knew something had to be done. It was not an easy solution, to just turn off the TV and ask him to eat. He was a 2-year-old. He had a strong will!! So, I started experimenting with alternative ways to entertain him while he ate.
It was important that he stayed entertained from the very beginning of his meal, for once he remembered the TV, it was all over! I started to show him how I cook, explaining what ingredients I put in and which steps were important. He paid attention, almost seeming to understand everything I was saying! He kept eating while I spoke to him and demonstrated my cooking skills!
For a toddler, any one thing can get boring very soon. I switched from giving him cooking classes, to listening and singing along to the radio. He seemed to stay entertained for a while with that. Then came dancing to songs, while serving him food, entertaining him as a walking, talking TV. But once anyone mentioned the word ‘TV’, it was the end of my live performances and the TV would take over!
I have experimented with several different ways to keep him entertained and engaged while he ate his food. Of course, I also feed him by hand when he is done eating on his own. Feeding by hand is something very much part of the family culture I grew up in. More than anything else, I think my kid needed attention. If I just give him a plate of food and mind my own business, it is not very much fun for him. He loves to have my attention.
Perhaps, my live entertainment and conscious attention to his feeding time is more gratifying to him than getting zoned out watching a TV show. At least, that is what worked for me. Of course, once Peppa Pig was discovered, the dynamics have changed a little. I still manage to keep my toddler engaged and focused on his meals for most of his meals.
Dinnertime still involves a lot of educational TV. However, as long as my kid learns something useful and eats well, some of the TV battles have reduced.
Well, before this phase wears out and I need to rival with Fireman Sam’s new episodes, let me go learn to juggle!!
This blog was written by one of our guest WIC mom bloggers, Kanmani.
Kanmani is a WIC mom with a young toddler. She shares cooking tips, recipes and motherhood experiences on her personal blog, KanmaniWrites.com.