family · Humour · Parenting · Rhyme

Winning at dinner with a picky toddler.

I’m not what you’d class as a talented cook.
I’m hardly Nigella, but quite like her book.

And most of the time I go out of my way,
To put something nice on the table each day.

Which my baby boy scoffs like a small dinosaur,
Stuffing in fresh fruit and veggies galore.

But tea with Miss Tot can be sometimes quite tricky.
She’s what we refer to as, well, a bit *whispers* “Picky.”

Each meal is prepared and presented with care.
Cut up and cooled and displayed with “Mum flair”

But the meal shall be eyed like a plateful of muck.
Without getting sampled it’s all declared “Yuk!”

And strangely the minute it’s time to have tea,
Just happens to clash with “Miss Tot needs a wee”.

So we tried “helicopters” and made it a game,
But the plate remains full and it’s all just the same.

We’ve tried the odd garnish “Madam, if you please…
A jus de red sauce? Or a sprinkle of cheese?”

But it’s just the wrong food, for the wrong afternoon.
Or the wrong coloured dish or the wrong sort of spoon?

And heaven forbid we do something obscene,
Like try to encourage a new “something GREEN!?”

I’m not quite entirely sure how she’s alive,
Existing on none of her fresh daily five?

Surviving on toast, cheese and raisins instead.
Her only three food groups are “Beige”, “Bland”, and “Dead”.

We try not to notice and strive not to care,
As she swings upside down from the dining room chair.

So she’ll bring out the big guns and try her new trick,
To dramatically cough and announce “I be sick”.

We’ve tried using stickers, dessert as a prize,
And various portions of varying size.

But all that it seems to achieve, truth be told.
Is her dinner gets left as our dinner goes cold.

And we tried not to make it an issue of course,
As we don’t want her eating her dinner by force.

But there’s now a new word which we’ve started to say,
A simple but magical word just…

“Okay”.

It’s FINE that she’s “full” and does not want to eat.
NO PROBLEM, she’d rather not come to her seat.

We offered her dinner, just once though, not twice,
No need to encourage or coax or entice.

And as soon as it seemed that the pressure was off,
Gone was the “poorly” and gone was the “cough”.

She tried a few stunts which were duly ignored.
At which point our little Miss promptly got bored.

And so then with nothing much better to do,
She came, and she sat, and ate tea with us too.

We watched with relief as our cheeky Miss Tot,
Quite happily sat there and snaffled the lot!

The more that we fussed and we made it a game.
The more we were giving her cause to complain?

I know I’m still learning as I go along,
And I constantly find I’ve been doing stuff wrong.

And sometimes my plans might be flawed from the start,
But I still have the greatest intentions at heart.

So maybe we each need a tiny high five,
As we seek out new ways for our offspring to thrive?

We all try to do what we can for our tots,
As they might drive us nuts but we still love them lots.

And I know as we fist pump this win for our team,
The Tots will be plotting their next little scheme…

But whatever the challenges all still to come…
Bring it on Tots, I’ll survive, I’m your mum!

This rhyme is dedicated with love and thanks to my Mum. Thanks for your help and your very wise words.

xx

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Linking up with…

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Mummuddlingthrough

62 thoughts on “Winning at dinner with a picky toddler.

  1. I’m so glad your rhyme has a happy ending and you found a way to get your picky tot to enjoy dinner. I have a similarly picky eater and also found the only way to stay sane was to refuse to make an issue of it, but I do worry about the amount of toast he eats!

    1. Phew, I’m not on my own then? She still won’t touch the green stuff but we’re just so relieved to have figured out how to get her to eat again as it was really starting to worry us. These Tots are sent to try us πŸ˜‰ x

  2. LoL! Another stunner. What a great idea to ignore all the fuss. Little Buttons has always been a fab eater, its nice to know that she’s not the only dinosaur scoffer πŸ˜‰ Thank you for all the giggles xxx

    1. Thank you lovely and great that Little Buttons is a fellow dinosaur! I suppose “ignore” was the obvious solution all along, but when you’re in the thick of it it’s easy to get swept along with the drama. I have even considered swinging upside down off the chair myself to see if it had any effect hehe xx

  3. I couldn’t even persuade her to take one of my “magic” carrots last time I was there, so glad the immediate challenge appears to be over …….

    Keep on rhymin’ – I still owe you one πŸ™‚

  4. Reblogged this on bobbiedaisy and commented:
    I love this. It reminds me of my four year old not wanting to eat. Luckily her 22 month old sister will eat all the food that the four year old doesn’t so it doesn’t go to waste. The winners with my four year old are the same as pretty much any child rice, bread, and corn.

    1. We have a two year age gap and exactly the same scenario in our house. How do two children, brought up in the same house on the same food, have such different eating habits? Drives me potty πŸ˜€

      Thank you very much for sharing my post. So pleased you enjoyed it xx

  5. Love it!! This is my life. My daughter actually does eat quite a bit but she messes with every meal!! Gets down. Hugs me. Fiddles and it drives me mad! We just have to threaten her to get down and go and play with nothing else and it usually works after a bit! Sighs! Haha. Xx #fartglitter

    1. Ah “The hug” tactic. Yep ours is adept at this one too. They know how to pull our strings don’t they? Thanks for your comment. I know that you’re a role model for nutrition and eating well, so it’s a relief to know that it’s not just me struggling to get the green stuff in sometimes. :0) xx

  6. Love this poem. I have recently learn this lesson, if you just ignore the bad behaviour and don’t pressure them to eat then they will start munching away. My 2year old has been a really fussy eater but since I stopped arguing with him about it things have been much better. So happy your rhyme has a happy ending x #Fartglitter

    1. Thank you Wendy. I guess it’s kind of common sense isn’t it really? But it’s just so easy to get wound up about it and stress that they’re going to starve to death. It’s fantastic that you worked it out at an earlier stage. I have learned from this and my little one is already getting the same treatment now at 16 months. Fingers crossed it works!? Thank you for reading and your comment x

  7. Your mum sounds like a very wise woman indeed. I was very lucky with my first, he ate evwrything, so fussy bugger number two was a complete shock. Im the end I tried the offer it once, then say okay route and (although he was still picky) he started to eat with us too.#fartglitter

  8. Awesome! I went through a stage of only eating bland, dry and dead food. I lived on plain pasta, bread and raisins…. Maybe even stretching to ketchup occasionally! πŸ˜‰ #FartGlitter x

    1. At least there’s hope then as you’re fab so it didn’t do you any harm πŸ˜‰ Am I stretching the boundaries too far to consider ketchup one of her five a day…? (And chocolate – from cocoa beans – as one of mine??) Thank you x

  9. I love the part where you say the more you fussed and made it a game, the more it seemed to give her cause to complain. That reminds me of my son, especially when he was three. A funny little story: He was about four or five when one summer day we are having a cookout, making burgers and hot dogs and other great summer food. My son wouldn’t eat any of the food but he was obsessed with Spongebob, Squarepants at that time so his dad and I thought we’d tell him that the burger was a crabby patty. We did everything to prepare and try to talk him into eating the “crabby patty” and he was excited to do so. We were proud of ourselves. Then we put the burger in front of him, presented like a crabby patty. Even showed a picture of one from the cartoon because he started to doubt us. He was about to try it when the lightbulb went on in his head and he turned to us and said, “This IS NOT a crabby patty.” After working hard to try to convince him, we asked him why he thought that and he said, “It doesn’t have the secret formula.” His dad tried to tell him that Mr. Crabs gave us the secret formula but he would have none of that. He said, “Mr. Crabs doesn’t give out his formula to ANYONE.” And with that, trying to get him to eat a burger was over. My son still doesn’t like burgers and he’s 9 years old now. LOL! #alittlebitofeverything

  10. It is so hard not to get stressed out when it comes to food – it’s our natural urge as parents to fill them with goodness, isn’t it? Especially when you’ve made it all with your own fair hands. It feels like rejection! Good to hear she’s started eating her dinner now. Good girl!
    x Alice
    #abitofeverything

  11. Love it! We’re trying to be more relaxed about meal times but Mummy struggles with projectile food and I worry about amounts and health. We’ll keep on it though. Glad you found something that works for you x

    #fartglitter

    1. It is so stressful isn’t it? The hubby doesn’t do food missiles either and our two definitely know which buttons to press. Good luck, may your meal times be peaceful and green stuff be eaten… ;0)

      Thank you for hosting #fartglitter xx

  12. Brilliant rhyme & glad your tot is now eating she’s obviously a strong willed little thing. It can be so difficult but I suppose ignoring is obvious in hindsight. I did the ignore technique at bedtime many years ago now but had lots of toing & froing & tears first whilst I tried other methods. #coolmumclub lifeinthemumslane

    1. Thank you Emma. I totally agree, if you take yourself out of the picture and consider what’s happening then “ignore” is often the obvious solution, but when you’re in the thick of it it can be hard to do can’t it? Thank you for your comment x

  13. Anything but green, but of course! Mine used to have a slice of toast for every meal. I just gave up. And that’s all. No point fighting as you clearly have indicated. Great post! Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    1. So I’m not on my own!? Thank you lovely. The amount of toast and cheese that gets eaten in this house is concerning. (Not cheese ON toast though. Apparently cheese is nice and toast is nice but cheese ON toast is absolutely yukky??)

      Thank you for hosting πŸ™‚ xx

  14. Love this! Bear is so fussy too. He likes green food and fruit, chicken and… that’s about it. Yoghurt and fruit pouches. But he so needs to put on a few pounds. All his healthy eating doesn’t put on any weight. I love him to eat toast or biscuits or cakes but he doesn’t like them. #abitofeverything

    1. I had to read this twice. I thought you said that he likes green food? *checks again* You definitely did say that!? He is a superstar child! At least he’s healthy which must save you some worries? Maybe he’ll grow into the biscuits as he gets older. Such a good boy x

  15. My son eats absolutely no dinner what so ever and hasn’t for as long as I can remember. He will only eat cold food (mainly samdwiches) and my two year old is starting to get very fussy too despite previously being a fantastic eater. It’s so frustrating. I often wonder why I bother to cook when they’d all be so much happier with a sandwich or a bowl of tinned tomato soup!

    Visiting from #coolmumclub

    1. I’m sure that they’ll grow out of it eventually? But it really is so frustrating when they just keep narrowing their palette down further and further with each meal. At least tomato soup can be considered 1 of their 5 a day? My eldest lives on those “fruit stick” things and fruity custard pots (no lumps of course). I figure processed fruit has to be better than no fruit at all? If only they did broccoli custard pots…?

      Thank you for popping by x

  16. Brilliant as always, & this sounds like a good tip. Eldest loves her food (though she is currently doing a willful toddler bit & objecting to loads of things she always ate, mostly green things), but little one not so much. She was a nightmare to wean, & still has regular meals where she barely eats anything. Though she’s not specifically fussy about type of food, just actually eating! #coolmumclub

    1. I sometimes wonder how my eldest actually maintains her weight as it feels like she can go days barely eating sometimes. It never seems to bother her though and she leaves the table to bounce about and create havoc as usual afterwards? I honestly think that she’s just too busy to eat sometimes. I never have that problem *sighs*

      Thank you x

  17. I have one of these too! I’m glad yours is now eating. I have tried just offering once and that’s not worked either. Back to the drawing board! Brilliant poem! #coolmumclub

    1. It’s so stressful isn’t it? I can’t say that the ignore thing works every time with us either, but it’s definitely been a step in the right direction. They’re each just a rule unto themselves aren’t they. Bless them (she says through gritted teeth) πŸ˜‰ Good luck x

  18. For this post, I must thank you with happy and glee. You may have just shared the answers for me! For I have two tots that get picky quite often. Now I know, I can try to sit back and soften. πŸ˜‰

    1. I love that you’ve put in the thought and the time, to think up a comment and write it in rhyme.
      I’m thrilled that my poem just might help you out,
      Once you have tried it please give me a shout.
      I hope that this trick has them filling there tum,
      (If not though relax… you are still a fab mum!!)

      Good luck. Hope it works for you too! ;0)

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