What is happening with little J now at 14 months: Food

Baby J is no longer a little baby even though he will always be one to me. He is a little toddler now, finessing his toddling skills and becoming a stronger walker every day. Here are some updates about my little darling:

  • He has become extremely fussy about eating. I feed him brown rice with moong daal with lots of different kinds of veggies. He has had butternut squash, peas, all kinds of bell peppers, green beans, spinach, kale, onion, mixed bags of veggie, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and others. Some times I mixed in chicken, fish, turkey or any other meat we made too. Until about a month ago, he didn’t mind eating this however in the last few weeks, meals have become particularly challenging.
  • Distractions worked well in the past. I would give him a bottle cap or a piece of paper or a book, one of his toys, or really just any random thing. For a while, he had  regular stash of ‘distractions’ that included a clothes pin, two different sizes of chip clips, two ketchup packets, his squeeze pouch cap, a small little purple teddy bear that his nanny got him for Valentine’s Day, and a big red plastic spoon. These worked well for a long time. He would be engaged with these while I fed him and meals would just fly by.
  • Now, the above distractions are long gone, it is a creative challenge to discover a new distraction everyday. Gradually, we drifted toward music and that worked for a few weeks and now we are at videos. His current favorite distraction is the Canadian folk song animated as cartoons, Blackfly; the Log Driver’s Waltz, and the Duck Song are his other favorites.
  • So what do we do now? We start dinner without any audio or video stimulation. I try to talk, make faces, show him different objects, music, and anything else that might work to get at least a few bites in before resorting to his videos. From a practical standpoint, I have thrown in the towel. I allow him some video and since he only watches for about 15 minutes and only at dinner time, I can live with that if it means he is eating his food and getting his nutrition.
  • We are gradually trying to get him to eat our food but it is difficult because even though he can pick up food and eat by himself, obviously he can’t do it with complex foods (for him) like rice and curry because he can’t really pick it up with his fingers.
  • Of Indian foods, he has tried upma and Bambino shevai.
  • For breakfast, for the longest time- almost four months, he ate oatmeal everyday. At first, I would cook the oatmeal with steamed pears and a little bit maple syrup, crushed everything in a blender, froze some and used about 4 ounces every morning. Gradually, I stopped doing that and feeding him freshly cooked oatmeal everyday with whatever fruit I had – pears, bananas, mostly blueberries, and also strawberries. I have also crushed and powdered almonds and walnuts and mixed them with the oatmeal or any other breakfast I have made for him. I have also made him scrambled eggs with lots of ghee and cheese. He has not been a fan but ht doesn’t mind eggs. He likes using his fork to pick up small bits of his scrambles and eat them himself.
  • Going forward, I really hope he gets better at eating. He seems to do well with new foods. Hasn’t really shown an aversion to any food yet. Fingers crossed he continues to be adventurous with food, tries out new things at least once before rejecting them, and appreciates food for its nutritional and health benefits as well as what food represents emotionally and spiritually.

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