When Toddlers Go On Food Strikes…

Otherwise known as Am I A Bad Mom If I Let My Baby Eat Pancakes for 4 Days Straight? 


The answer is: Probably but oh well.

Maybe I just lucked out but my daughter can be so particular about the food she will eat sometimes. And by particular, I mean she will starve herself to the point of slipping into a hypoglycemic coma and summoning what little energy she has left at that point, she will dramatically point to the only food that will satisfy her craving. The chosen food is usually something empty of any nutritious value.  At that point, she lays there pathetic and waits for us to get her the chosen food and spoon feed it to her.

I’m being a little over-dramatic but it sure feels like she is working the system like that sometimes. I’m a picky eater too. I get it. And I know I have no room to talk on the subject until I start eating my fruit like a grown up… However, I’m the mom so I get to put my food down on this behavior and insist she eat whatever food I place in front of her, right?

Y’all, I caved.

It’s just not worth the battle every single meal to force feed her food that will ensure she has a well-balanced diet. My dogs can sense her displeasure and will quickly gobble up any food she gives them while I’m not paying attention. She figured out before even turning one years old how to shake her head “No” and tighten her little lips so nothing is going in.

So I let her eat pancakes for almost every meal for about 4 days straight…

Give me some credit though. I’ve actually gotten pretty good at outsmarting my littling to keep her well-nourished.  I’ve learned that the trick with feeding strong-willed toddlers and children lies in subtlety and distraction.

You have to add the healthy food in just subtle enough that they don’t realize it. For example, I’m started putting blueberries, banana, and other fruit in and on her pancakes.  I’ve swapped the store bought pancakes I had for emergencies only for homemade pancakes that I add egg and ground flax seed in. She’s so excited to get pancakes for dinner (again) that she eats them up without realizing that the mommy she loves and trusts so much cram packed it with healthy food.

Distraction is my other tool of choice. I can’t take credit for thinking this up myself since I got the idea from a picture I saw scrolling through my facebook feed. I’ve started making food look fun to her. Like broccoli dipped in sprinkles (at least I use organic sprinkles?) or creating masterpiece art arranged from assorted vegetables and fruits. I’ve even used food coloring to bring it a step further. Personally, I find it’s a lot more exciting eating celery when it’s fashioned into the good ol’ ants in a log.

I know I’m probably just enabling her picky food habits right now but this isn’t forever. My first priority is keeping my child fed with healthy foods. Examining and addressing her unrealistic food habits is an issue I’m going to save for another day. This is turning into a fun game if I am completely honest with myself and my hope is that I can teach her to have a healthy relationship with food by being creative like this.

If there are any other mamas out there that feel my pain, drop a suggestion below in the comments!




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