Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How to Tackle Fussy Eaters, My Way!!

Rant of a tired mommy...

I am a mommy of a 2 year old toddler. And somehow this designation goes hand in hand with being tormented and eating leftover for every meal. Kids these days are majorly fussy about anything that you wish to put in their mouth. And these fussy episodes last for more than an hour, 3 times a day. So what do you do in situations like this? Strictly follow your principles of no TV/videos during the meal time? Or give in to the lesser evils in the wake of nutrition for his growing years? Authoritarian principles of keeping them frightened of parents are a philosophy of the bygone era. And frankly with these little brats, I hardly think it will work as well. They understand our weaknesses even more clearly than us. They are smart, and all they like to play with are things that adults use, like vinegar in the kitchen; and petroleum jelly along with my vermillion powder in the bedroom. Imagine the mess Ansh created when he kept the bottle of vinegar in the place where we store bottled water; or when he mixed my petroleum jelly with vermilion powder and smeared it all along the bedroom walls. I can say that he really painted the town red with it. 

Now there are 2 approaches to tackling this. And none of it involves scolding, screaming and spanking frankly. In fact I was talking to a brother who was really naughty and had been beaten quite mercilessly when we were young. Now he is a grown up man of 23 years, and is still nursing many of those wounds in his heart. He despises many of my family members and cousins, and chooses to be an intoxicated introvert. After meeting him, I am more convinced than ever that it’s important to be a Buddy Parent than having a dictatorial reign in this era of complicated life stories. Fussiness and naughty play time is a part and parcel of growing life. And frankly it is what we as mothers get as a gift from our labour of love.

I don’t particularly scold him much. I instead punish him by closing him out in a planter balcony where ‘dinosaurs’ live. Or treat him when he does something extraordinarily well. Punishment without a treat is meaningless, and apart from giving him home-made goodies, I occasionally handout a few pieces of Kellogg’s chocos.  Somehow these kids have a way of understanding what mummy wants to feed, to what they don’t. And so keeping a few treats close to hand out to them during these episodes, really pays. My child is a fussy eater, and has days of not being interested in food at all. So for those days, I always keep a packet of mix grain baby food and Kellogg’s chocos to coax him into eating some fruits and veggies.  I have clearly surrendered rigid principles to lesser evils. After all, he is a child who needs to know the importance of eating and eating healthy at that. It’s his time to sit back and enjoy a few occasional treats. These little episodes of #KhushiKePal while eating really helps restore his faith back into food. After all that’s what the Bachpan is all about. And in fact, both of us are learning it together with each other!!

And oh before I end, and before someone starts judging me to be the worst mom in the world to be pumping copious amounts of cocoa and sugar in his tiny body, let me give you another trick I use on him. Now that I have realised that his little brain thinks that anything brown in colour with slight sweetness is chocolate, I trick him into believing Nachani ka aata is ‘choco’ for its colour. And a porridge made with it is cherished to the last spoon possible. I sweeten it ever so lightly with jaggery, and he is a happy child. He has never had a chocolate as a bar to be enjoyed. But instead, I give him chocos with whole wheat or a brownie made at home with properly sourced raw materials. I am no saint, and I don’t want to be one. It might be wrong to trick his little mind, but it works for me as nutrition is far more important to me in this day of fussy non eating kids.  

This is written as a part of the series- #KhuljayeBachpan by Kellog's.  https://www.facebook.com/mychocos 

If you are seeking recipes for these little guys, follow the below links.

And for a laugh- Conflicts for a New Mommy!!!


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We are always eager to hear your take on food, my way!!!


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