>My toddler is crazy smart. I know all of us moms think that. But really…in Selah’s case, it’s true. So even though I’m 25 years older than her, whenever I can outsmart her I feel a keen sense of
|Selah Grace munchin’ on some bread sporting Josiah’s hat. She’s got a beanie fetish these days.|
What’s one of the hardest things to get toddlers to do? Eat. At least, eat the food you want them to eat. (AKA, not so many bowls of mac-n-cheese and arrowroot cookies.) I realized I was getting cranky repeatedly saying, “Eat your peas. It’s not a choice.” Also crank-inducing was making 3 dinners: one for me and hubs, one for toddler, one for baby. Now, we have one dinner and we set the timer for 30 minutes. The rule is that Selah Grace eats that or nothing. When the timer goes off, dinner is done. And babes Josiah usually gets some part of our meal thrown in the baby food blender real fast. It’s nice to be sane again.
Here’s our most successful toddler eating tricks:
1. My Turn/ Your Turn. – Mama takes a bite of greenbean saying, “My turn!” then points to toddler saying, “You’re turn!” She loves it and usually it works great.
2. Timer – It sounds something like this: I bet you can’t eat (fill-in-the-blank-with-undesired-food-here) before I count to 6! 1-2-3….! (Fun and upbeat sounding. Not the 1-2-3 Mommy count)
3. Personal Dinner Songs – We’ve reworded some personal favorite cartoon theme songs and turned them into dinner songs. Instead of Bob the Builder we sing, “Selah Grace! Can she try it? Selah Grace! Yes she can!” That one’s really done wonders for us.
4. Sharing Daddy’s – If it’s on Daddy’s plate, then it is most definitely better. So sometimes we let her trade the veggies on her plate for the veggies on Daddy’s plate and she thinks she has won a sweet deal!
5. Special Plate – Selah likes to choose which bowl or plate she uses during dinner. Sometimes this is an ice cube tray and her dinner looks like a little edible mancala game. We stole this straight out of the Dr. Sears book and we love it. Also great for holding various dipping sauce options.
6. Dippin’ Sauce – I think toddlers across the board love dunking food in dipping sauce. Lately the pear/gorgonzola salad dressing from T. J.’s has been a favorite around our table.
6. Bribery – When all else fails we resort to good old fashioned bribery. Finish 2 bites of ______ and you will earn your arrowroot cookie.
I hope our family tricks can help your toddler table time. If you have any for us, please share!