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How to manage toddlers feeding drama

TODDLERS! TODDLERS! TODDLERS! THEY ARE SWEET YET SOOO TERRIBLE! Am not talking about the tantrums and the tempers they throw in public. NO! NO! I can deal with that. Or say it better, am used to it. You know what I mean by embracing stubbornness as the new normal? YES! What I can’t deal with is the DRAMA AT THE DINING TABLE! OOOH YES! They are such terrible feeders. If you want to know how rebellious your toddler is, try feeding them when they have chosen not to. They just won’t open their mouth or worse still, they won’t swallow the food. So you will keep hanging out there with your food and you won’t manage to put that cute little spoon in her mouth.

I promised to give you personalized experiences with you on this blog. My daughter looks healthy…atleast if what the people tell me is anything to go by. She has gained weight pretty well and yes, her milestones are timely. Am grateful for that. However, this baby girl is a terrible eater. One day she will have the appetite, the other day she just won’t anything. And you know that feeling of your baby sleeping on an empty stomach. You just can sleep! You will keep trying and trying and trying and trying and not giving up until the baby has taken in a few spoons.

Do not underestimate the power of a toddler who doesn’t want to eat. She will kick you away, cry, keep the food in the mouth for hours or worse still, and blow it out of her mouth. I can’t count the number of time my baby has washed me with food from her mouth. With continued growth, she has identified her favorite food. Meaning, she is not only a fussy eater but a picky eater. She loves her scrambled eggs (though it triggers her eczema so I avoid it), she hates spinach or any green thing in the food. She hates milk but you can’t quench her thirst for yoghurt. She distastes beans, she loves peas. This made me cook certain food that she liked but were these foods meeting her nutritional requirement? Did I mention my struggle with constipation? OOOH MY! THAT LITTLE GIRL WOULD POOP STONE LIKE POOP! This is what most moms go through every day. I know you are among them but WOW MOM got you covered. 

We recently had Weaning Workshop which was facilitated by Nutritionist Karen Aluvaala from Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital. I will just share some of the wisdom nuggets that I took away on feeding toddlers.

  1. On appetite- So your baby has refused to eat completely! Don’t worry. Let her be. YES! LET HER BE! She won’t starve.  Toddlers re smart and cunning. Have you  seen a toddler who so demanding? She will cry for food. On giving food….she is like…”I don’t want spinach”…you remove spinach…”I don’t want ugali… I want banana”…You give banana .she is like…”I don’t want to eat banan alone. I want yoghurt”….and she goes on and on and on! The solution is playing with their psychology. By this age, they know that if I refuse to take my food, mom will give me my favorite snack. Coz daaaa! Mom will be like “at least some yoghurt will help” . Karen advised us to be candid and not fall down this trap of toddlers. If your baby has refused to eat the food you offer, don’t give anything else as a substitute. Not even water. Let them play or even go to bed. Hunger will strike and wake them up and they will have to eat the same food that they were refusing. I have tried this and it’s working very well with my daughter. I don’t even force her. The problem of bowing down to a toddlers demand is that you might end up giving unhealthy diet which will lead to poor growth. Remember this mom “YOU ARE THE BOSS”.
  2. Portion- Toddler years the energy requirement reduces after the first year of life. They reure between 1000-1300 calories per day. For this reason, the toddler may reduce on the amount of food. That shouldn’t worry you. So how much food should your toodler consume? The nutritionist had this portion size to just help you serve the correct portion for your child from weaning stage. Unfortunately, I cannot demonstrate it here, I will give you an example of one meal serving. 3 table spoons of beans, 3 table spoons of spinach and 2 table spoons of mashed potatoes. That’s an example of easy to make balance diet. If your child’s demands more food, add more vegetables and fruits instead of adding more starch to the diet..  In between meals, go for healthy snacks with less sugar and too much starch. Go for fruits and yoghurt, fruit juice for instance instead of biscuits and sodas.
  3. Award and reward- Everyone loves to be appreciated. Toddlers specifically love to feel noticed, recognized and appreciated for their little effort. This includes appreciating hem when they swallow a spoon of food. You can clap for them, you can cheer them when they clear they plate, reward with their favourite snack or promise to take them out for a movie. Trust me, this will encourage them to eat more every day.

That’s just a summary of toddlers feeding. Do you have any question on how to make toddler feeding easier and better? Don’t hesitate to send in your question. We will be holding other baby weaning and nutrition workshops and I hope you can learn more from experts on proper feeding methods. Now that you are very hardworking mom, you deserve a break. When was the last time you had a day all to yourself for fun? When was the last time you has uninterrupted nap? When was the last time you treated yourself to spa? When was the last time you went on trip/vacation alone (coz when you have kids you will be working)? When was the last time you treated yourself to a great dinner? We need to appreciate ourselves for the hard work that we do in taking care of others. Who takes care of us? We deserve a break! AS ALWAYS, WOW MOM got you! We are in the process of planning our very first MOMCATION on Saturday June 8th 2019. We will taking a road trip to Naivasha for an excursion in Hell’s Gate National Park and later treat ourselves to Natural spa at  Olkaria Hot SPA for just Ksh 3600 which is inclusive of transport, lunch and Park entries. Feel free to inbox for more details.  I AM SO EXCITED! SEE YOU THEN!

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