I was reading Project Unplugged by a great blog called Sleeping should be easy http://sleepingshouldbeeasy.com/2012/05/02/project-unplugged-can-you-disconnect-technology/ and it got me thinking about instant gratification.
As you may or may not know Isaac has had croup and a cold recently so he’s not been his usual chirpy self. He’s also been a bit, how shall I put it…willful with his eating recently, at the moment I’m not sure if its the cold or growing up. Regardless of the cause eating has been a bit stressful of late. For lunch he used to love sandwiches and now they mostly end up on the floor in a mangled mess! He seems to be turning his nose up at everything we offer him. My husband and I decided to offer him warm meals like mash etc for lunch and dinner as he always ate a good dinner before and after the fifth spoonful of what ever it was that we put in front of him we were met by Isaac screaming at the top of his lungs and throwing himself back on his booster seat in protest. Now I expected instant results from changing his meals to something he would like, I guess I’m so used to everything being instant that I projected that onto him too, ignoring that he is in fact a little person with his own mind. After waving a spoon in his face for what seemed like hours we gave up and went on to desert….which he obviously ate.
Maybe there was no instant fix for this? It was reading the blog I mentioned below that I thought about what I was doing to his meals. I’d been expecting Isaac to go at my pace, but it was his meal so shouldn’t we be going at his?
Next dinner time we made sure that we all sat down together, with the same meal, lasagna. I put on the telly…Isaac isn’t allowed to watch much TV, nothing against TV in general I would just rather that he played. Any way the TV was on as a distraction so there wasn’t too much pressure on him and that we weren’t staring at him, waiting for him to take a bite. He did, in fact he ate it all up and then asked for some of mine. We tried again the next night and the same thing happened, all of his dinner gone. We used to eat together as a family when he was being weaned to help him gain confidence but this had some what fallen by the way side when I wen’t back to work and it was harder to get meals ready for when Isaac needs to eat. I guess that I had underestimated how important it was to him to a) feed himself and b) eat with mummy and daddy.
From now on I’m making a conscious effort to go at his pace and not mine. He is after all still little and has a lot of growing up to do!
So to finish up here are my tips for eating with baby, the things that have worked for me:
- Try to eat together as much as possible, it useful for them to see you eating
- Try to give them what you’re eating as much as possible, they just want to copy mummy and daddy, they may surprise you…Isaac did when he at a bowl and a half of butter chicken curry and loved it.
- Don’t worry about the mess, pop a table cloth on the floor and let them play with the food if they want to, it’s how they learn.
- If they want to feed themselves let them, they know when they’re full and wont keep shoveling!
- Try not to get stressed or make meals into a big deal, it certainly didn’t work for me and just made me a grumpy mummy!