The Great Food Fight: Is it worth it? Who will win?

When it comes to infants and toddlers and feeding them or getting them to eat, I donít believe that there are any hard and fast rules. There are food guidelines that should be followed but even these should be somewhat tailored to the child. It is important for parents to keep in mind that these are guidelines and they should not stress if at a certain stage their child is not interested in the recommended foods.

If nothing else sticks the most important thing to remember is not to fight with the child or force them to eat. This will prove to be a very stressful situation for both you and you child. It is important to keep in mind that children will not allow themselves to starve it is one of those innate mechanisms. So they will eventually eat when they are hungry.

One thing that I have often found to be effective is the art of distraction. No, not making those airplane noises. Rather, give the child a toy they like to play with or a book. More often than not the child will focus on either the toy or whatever you have given them and will simply just open their mouth. Over time you will find that they begin to enjoy eating and the distraction will no longer be necessary.

Make the food interesting; contrary to popular belief most children donít like bland tasteless food. Make food that has flavor, so instead of just mash potatoes with nothing add a little salt, milk and butter. There are some infants and toddlers who will have some curry, pasta sauce and even gravy. If you donít find the food interesting then why assume that your child would? So be adventurous and let your child sample some of your food which will give you a better idea of their likes and dislikes.

Like with anything else with your child, it is important to establish a routine. Try to feed your child at the same time. If nothing else it will allow for enough time in between meals to ensure that your child will be hungry. They will also develop an internal clock which means that their bodies will call out to be fed at certain times so they

are more likely to eat. This makes the process easier for you the parent and at the same time more enjoyable for the child.

The goal at the end of the day is to have children experience meal times as a positive experience and at the same time keep you, the parents, from pulling your hair out. So to answer the Great Food Fight questions, no the food fight is not worth it, as no