kids · Parenting

The Eating Habits Of Toddlers

Everyday, starts the same way. The toddlers telling me what they would like to eat for breakfast.

“I want cereal”

“Which one”, I say as I point to some Cheerios.

“No, not that one”

“Well, which one?”

He points but there are three boxes there and I have no idea what, “that one” is. So I hold them up and he picks one but when I pour it into the bowl, he no longer wants it. I’m assuming it’s because it doesn’t look like it does on the box. There are no leprechauns dancing about and snap, crackle and pop are not there to give him a treat. So we try it all over again.

“Which one would you like now?”

Does this sound like your house? Being a parent we worry about what they’re eating and what they aren’t. We try to find ways to get a vegetables in their diet which is hard for me because I hate veggies. I take a whole food multivitamin that I pay $20 a bottle for just so I don’t have to eat vegetables. So it begs the question, am I leading by example? Do they get their bad eating habits from me?  I never met a plate of broccoli, I didn’t want to smother in cheddar cheese. Doesn’t that defeat the health benefits of broccoli? I’ve tried sautéing them, eating them raw (which wasn’t as bad as I thought) and grilling. I just don’t like vegetables. The kids aren’t as bad as I am. They think it’s funny veggies make me gag. So why should I make my toddlers eat it, if I won’t?

Before you ask, I did what you’re supposed to do. When the boys were babies I gave them veggies before fruits. They ate them with gusto. They ate pretty much anything you sat in front of them except pasta, which to me means they must be adopted because no child of mine could hate pasta. Then sometime around age 2 they stopped trying anything. Pureed peas, loved it. Whole peas, most disgusting thing in the world. Could they just be like me?

There have been weeks where my veggie strike has trickled down to the rest of the family. D will lament, “who do I have to kill to get a vegetable around here?” Then I will realize that the last time I made something “green” was the grilled corn we had for Fourth of July.

For now, I’ll keep buying whole grain chicken nuggets and hiding veggies in everything that I can until they hopefully develop a taste for it. Then sometime in the not too distant future, when my sons are fully grown and away at college, if they chose to abstain from  the veggie selections, I have a bottle of vitamins to send in their care packages.

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