challenges

Being a toddlers chef

Probably the one who came up with “necessity is the mother of invention” was a mother of a toddler. I am cooking so many different things these days; Mostly they are attempts to get my son to love food and get in as many veggies as I can in his dinners.

I wish I had taken better photographs and recorded the recipes more articulately. But hey! Right now I just run on impromptu mode like never before– churning meal plans and backup plans!! So I can never rely on repeat recipes being a hit the second time.

A, like any toddler I have realised is fussy with his food. He is not a bad eater and loves to try new things. But he wants variety. I used to think “oh he loves dosa” and made dosa everyday and then he’d hate it. He started hating eggs after eating them everyday for 4 weeks!

So once I had that figured, that I shouldn’t repeat his favorites for more than twice a week, I realised he also looks for texture in the food. His molars haven’t sprouted yet. So say idli is easier for him to chew than the softest buttered paratha. Things I am learning!!

Before I’d try something new and get disappointed when he would reject it outright. Well! disappointed is a mild word, parenting stems “frustration” more easily! Whatever happened to the parenting-sense-of-humor you may ask?! 😉

So here are my cardinal rules for being a toddler’s chef. I am sure it will change a lot over the years, and I plan to do update posts!

a) Low/No expectation — Prepare for rejection of newly tried recipe 99% of the time. Prepare for rejection of favorite foods also from time to time. It is not end of the world. Something will click.

b) Boredom is common — Toddlers are anything but boring. The little humans dont hide their personae like us adults and showcase them in every action. Hence to keep them interested, don’t succumb them to routines or same foods everyday. Figure out a few favorites and include them smartly.

c) Cook for the family — My son eats a lot better and is willing to try when he sees the same food is on his plate and ours. Sometimes he wants to eat from our plates; hey! anything that works.

d) Persistence is virtue — This week will be my third attempt at avocado in his meal. I met with complete disastrous results last two times. How many times did he fall when attempting to walk and he eventually did! stay optimistic and flexible. If it still fails, fall back on rule a) !

e) Always remember “eat to live, and not live to eat” — There were moments i felt all I ever associated with my son were his meal plans. Step back when that happens. Is he happy? Is he healthy? Ok, so this week you didnt meet his quota of veggies. Doesnt matter. Breathe. Relax, Ease in. Remember rule a)

My instagram feed of food attempts

Cook. Play. Love.

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