5 Stages of Feeding a Toddler


5 Stages of

When my daughter was a few months old, I started researching food and the best ways to introduce solids to her diet. I had seen friends on Facebook lamenting the food struggle woes and I had ALL the delusions of grandeur.  That will not be me! I will read the books and make the things and train her palette!

So I read the books. I made the things. I trained that palette with organic home-made baby food with touches of spice. I put into place the “you get what you get” rule and refused to be a short order cook. And, for the most part, she ate well.

Really well.

And then she started forming opinions. DARN ALL THE LUCK.  Opinions are the worst, you guys. My condolences to you when they happen to your child.  And with those opinions, came a drastic change in our meals.

I took enough sociology classes in college to remember the 5 stages of grief. And lo, as it turns out they apply pretty darn well to toddler mealtimes.

The 5 Stages of Feeding a Toddler:

1. Denial

Chicken and quinoa and brussel sprouts! These are real foods – whole foods that she will love and will make her body healthy and strong! I can’t wait for her to eat this food that I have lovingly prepared! She’s going to LOVE it and we’re going to sit down and have a lovely meal. June Cleaver has nothin’ on me.

2. Anger

What the what, man? Why is she throwing the food across the room?  I don’t think I’ll ever get that brussel sprout smear off the wall. WHY GOD, WHY? The dog is loving this but the dog EATS GRASS and loves it. The dog doesn’t deserve the quinoa. My child WILL eat this food.

3. Bargaining

Sweetheart, if you take 3 bites of each thing then you can have a graham cracker.  No, not now. No, you can’t have the cracker now. You have to eat your food – No. I said not now. Stop saying cracker. What if mommy takes 3 bites, too? Then will you take 3 bites?

4. Depression

The only nutrients my daughter has consumed today have been in the form of goldfish.  Can I even send her to bed knowing she ate exactly one bite of food at dinner?  Is this the thing that sends her to therapy as an adult? I officially fail as a mom.

5. Acceptance

You know what, this too shall pass.  I’m pretty sure that one bite of chicken will totally sustain her through the night. AND I saw her lick her fingers after she picked up and threw that brussel sprout. That surely fulfills her required veggie intake. This too shall pass.  But until it does, I’ll fight the good fight.

And one of these days, quinoa will totally find it’s way into her belly. And she’ll love it. Or she’ll pretend.

I’ll take whatever I can get.


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