As a parent, one of the most important tasks is keeping our children fed! You spend so much time thinking about when your child will start weaning and trying new foods, and so it's only natural you will also have dreams and expectations of what that perfect mealtime will look like.
But in reality, it's not so smooth sailing for most parents! The truth is that some kids are picky eaters, fussy and most of the time just not interested. Parents are always bombarded with information "How to avoid a picky eater", "What to do if your child isn't eating", "How to start weaning the right way"...you get the idea. As a parent, you go ahead and read all those posts, books, and blogs. Don't get me wrong, sometimes the tips and tricks work, but sometimes they don't! And when they don't, it can be heartbreaking because we as parents want to give our kids our 100%. And it's really hard not to blame yourself. We've all been in the position of cooking for hours to make an amazing meal for our little ones, and when you sit down to actually feed it to them, they would rather chuck it at the wall or use their fork to stir it to infinity! It's so disheartening.
I want to take this time to talk about something that most articles, media and blogs don't actually cover - and that is the effect of this on parents and our own wellbeing. I'm just going to come out and say it! When your child chooses not to eat a meal that you spent ages to prepare, a meal that cost not just time but also money to provide for - a meal that you made with love, a meal that could have potentially been 25 mins of "you time", when you think about all the mental bandwidth that went into providing it...it can be the most soul-destroying and frustrating thing to come to terms with when they refuse it. But here's a reminder: IT'S ALL BECAUSE WE WANT THE BEST FOR OUR KIDS!
Dear parent, I want you to know that you are doing a fantastic job. The devastation that you might feel is a result of the care and love for your child! I am so sorry that the media portrays a perfect parenting mealtime ideal that has caused you to believe that you aren't doing good enough. Or that it's somehow your fault that you have a picky or fussy eater. This message is for all the modern-day parents - your child might be a picky eater, they might not want to eat everything all the time, they might have a tantrum, you might sometimes feel like a failure for the littlest things when it comes to parenting, but that is allowed! It's not a failing on your part, and it doesn't mean they're 'bad'. It's all a part of the parenthood journey, and remember that tomorrow is a new day (That's what keeps me going, anyway!). So, the next time you need to put the tv on to encourage them to have some food, do it (without any mum-guilt).
We at Mamamade understand, and we are here to support you at every step of the way, with loads of free resources that you can turn to at the time of desperation or joy! We also have a community of parents who are in the same boat as you so, share your voice by following us on Instagram and connecting with us on Facebook. The best part is that Mamamade subscribers have access to a free mealtime coach; you are encouraged to book a call if you want or need it - it's your time to ask our coach anything. Whether you're feeling anxious about introducing allergens, unsure if your little one is ready for the next stage, or are looking for advice on reducing milk intake, our mealtime coach is here to help, and so are we.
A little secret - Mamamade are planning an exciting new support system to help you navigate your way around realistic toddler mealtime. So keep an eye out on Mamamade socials for more updates!
Lots of love,
Himanshi @ Mamamade
I am so happy I found this post today, I really needed to hear it after my 8mo struggles with textures and I fears its because I didn’t offer them sooner, I blame myself every day and do get so disheartened when I spend time cooking and Lyla doesn’t eat it. It is encouraging to hear this is common, and to take some of the pressure off I have ordered a bundle and can’t wait to try it x