Parenthood. The best path to knock anyone off their high horse.
We started Bode on solids (aka purees) at four months old and he did wonderfully. And his eating continued on the upswing from there. He quickly became an amazing eater, downing almost everything, from waffles and toast every morning, to pulled pork and lentil balls, fish galore and nonstop fruit. We joked that the only foods he really refused where avocado and chicken nuggets. We felt like such proud parents: “Look at our kid, eating sriracha on anything!”
And then he decided, ehhh let’s turn my eating habits upside down.
My mind has searched for an “event” that got the change going; we traveled for a month on the east coast and during that time, Bode slept in five different homes, meals became much more of a production and he got sick with a nasty cold. I wonder if all that triggered something… or if I’m just searching for a specific reason when there really isn’t one. Maybe it’s just JBBB: Just Babies Being Babies.
I don’t think his taste buds have changed all that much, that’s not the answer. I think it’s a combination of his age, seizing some control when he wants to and entertainment. Food has become so fun in his eyes.
Either way, this summer he decided that instead of eating everything in front of him, he was now going to play a fun game at every meal with Mama. It’s now become a 50-50 chance if he eats his food at meals. Some days he rocks it, totally normal, chowing down.
Other days, 75% of his meal ends up thrown to the floor, where, to add even more confusion to the situation, Bode may eat said food excitedly off the ground once we’ve taken him out of his highchair.
He’s stayed pretty consistent with always devouring fruit and cheese but his beloved pulled pork? Most days it gets chucked. His love for fish? 50-50 chance if he eats it but my bet these days? Nope.
Getting down on your hands and knees (while six months pregnant mind you) and cleaning up these messes off the floor, three times a day gets really old. It gets frustrating on a multiple of levels. The wastefulness of the food, the worries that he’s not getting enough nutrition, let alone calories, the unknown of how you should handle this (do you give in and let him eat more fruit and cheese so he has something in his stomach?). I’d be lying if I said I haven’t shed tears over this the past few weeks.
And then we’ll have a day where he eats fabulously and I’m high-fiving him and feeling such a sense of relief. I know it may be short lived, that every day, every meal, is a new opportunity for yogurt splattered across the kitchen floor. But among the many, many lessons of parenthood, I’ve also learned that it’s wise to take each day at a time. To not look too far ahead, or too far behind, because it’s always changing.
So I’ll continue to present new flavors and textures and all that jazz at meals and I’ll continue to sneak in some veggies and cross my fingers he eats some meat. And when he totally refuses, I’ll give him some fruit and cheese so he doesn’t go to bed on an empty stomach because at sixteen months old, I don’t feel good about that. I’ll continue to take deep breaths… and maybe look into getting one of those roaming vacuums.
And in the meantime, please send any and all suggestions for “solutions” as well as meals that your kiddos absolutely love. It’s a worth a try in my book…