Amelia is now 28 months (she’s two) and pretty much survives on chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and fries. She will eat any fruit and loves tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados. There is no exploration of her palette and any seasoning makes the food immediately ‘dirty.’
I definitely thought we would skip the picky toddler phase since we followed Baby Led Weaning. We tried a new food almost every day. We rarely did purees and offered her so many different foods, even some that we didn’t like. Now, two years in, and there is no such thing as a ‘try it bite’ and I am tired of warming up chicken nuggets. Here’s where I think I went wrong…
One: I made her a separate meal
Since we ate dinner a lot earlier than she did when she was younger, Amelia got her own meal made for her. It was often well balanced and offered new food along with something she liked but was not what we were eating for dinner. Now, as she is older we sit down and eat dinner as a family and we serve her what we are eating. We again try to make it well balanced with something she likes, but she still requests her tried and true favorites since in the past we have been made-to-order-cooks. So goal #1 you eat what I serve!
Two: I made everything BLAND
I was so worried about her sodium intake or making something too spicy and turning her off of food for good that nothing had spice or seasoning. She got plain wheat noodles, potatoes with no salt or pepper, and simple grilled chicken. This is NOT how we cook. Now, as a result, her food needs to be clean as in no seasoning on it or she refuses to try it. We are still working on getting around this. We try and hide the seasoning so she eats it when it looks ‘clean’ or we season some less for her and do seasoning in increments. Even though I know she will refuse it I keep offering her different foods that aren’t bland in the hope that one day she’ll try it and be surprised.
I am still a huge advocate for Baby Led Weaning and will absolutely do it with my second child, however, unlike what Instagram states there are long-term repercussions to look out for. If I had to do it over again, I’d serve her what we ate for dinner and try and vary the new items by cooking them how they would actually be served in our household or a restaurant. Since I don’t get a do-over with Amelia I am open to all suggestions to get a toddler to at least lick a new food.