The waitress watched in disbelief “she is eating broccoli?” Our two year old was quick to correct her observation by responding “small trees yummy”.
There is no doubt that at times our Little One is fussy and picky. However generally I would conclude that she is a good eater. Generally it isn’t a challenge ensuring she is getting 7 to 10 proportions of varied fruit and vegetables daily.
Listening to parents share their toddler eating behaviour frustrations, puts me in a reflective mood. Why them, why not me?
Short answer is I don’t know. I say it is because of some luck and some good genes (I was a toddler garbage disposal – eating any veggies my older brother would not). However I feel instinctively that there are two activities that have fueled our toddler’s love of eating a wide variety of nutritious food.
Firstly the simple activity of growing your own veggies. From six months of age I have been gardening with her. Now she will venture into the garden to eat sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, snow peas or whatever is in season (without my prompting or help).
Secondly the equally simple activity of cooking. As our Little One showed interest in our cooking pursuits, we have encouraged her involvement with age appropriate tasks. Always keeping in mind the bigger picture when she makes a mess, refuses to give back the pepper shaker or fights us for the spoon – short term annoyances allows for long term, life skills learnt.
Our Little One is planting seeds, watching them grow, harvesting food from the garden then cooking the produce. This has to be contributing to her willingness to then eat the food, she has had envolvement in producing and preparing.
Food for thought.