March 3, 2015

SOL 3: Toddler Eating Habits

"Chipmunk Cheeks" with a mouth full of mango.
This is my niece, Aniya. She's 16 months old, which, apparently, means constant whining, picky eating, stinky diapers, and testing boundaries. It's a good thing she's the cutest baby in the world!

Since she and her mama moved in with us last month, I've learned so much about this little ball of constant energy. She loves to play hide-and-seek, sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Patty Cake," read from her tiny library of books (we're working on growing this for her), climb up and down the stairs, interact with herself in the mirror, look at pictures of herself on my phone, "mop"the kitchen floor, and wear her food in her hair.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Butter
She isn't such a fan of naps or bedtime, doesn't like to try new foods, and hates her nebulizer. Like screaming for her life HATES it!

You may notice that food was mentioned in both of those lists, and it's not a coincidence. Food seems to be what makes the world go around for this girl. Whenever anyone walks into the kitchen, she immediately runs to the pantry or whines to get into her chair because she thinks it's time for another snack.

Usually, though, the enthusiasm doesn't last long, unless you're offering her carbs or fruit. Seriously, this girl is on a mission to survive on shells 'n cheese, biscuits, and fruit. I mean... I can't say that I don't also enjoy those foods, but at least I eat protein and some vegetables. I honestly didn't realize children this young could be so picky! I was always under the impression that this was a learned behavior. This seems pretty innate to me.

Over the weekend, thought I'd be nice and give mama a chance to sleep in, so I snuck in their room and took the baby downstairs for breakfast. I made her some pumpkin pancakes with apple butter for finger painting dipping. She loved playing in it, but she hardly ate a thing. I'm not sure what we're missing here.

If you have advice, I'm open to suggestions. Except I can already tell you that giving her new foods doesn't usually go over well. Unless, we're talking about a new fruit. You may or may not have noticed her stuffed cheeks in the first photo. This was on Sunday after I introduced her to mangoes. Apparently, she liked them so much that she wanted to save some for later.

So, we do try to offer her new foods, but 90% of the time, she's shaking her head no before you can get it on her tray. She's a smart one, this girl, and she'll quickly reject whatever you think you can sneak into her meal before you can even formally suggest it.

And if you dare try putting it there anyway, you better be ready for a meltdown! And trust me... we get enough of those on a daily basis. Because life is H.A.R.D. when you're 16 months old!

It's a good thing she's so darn cute!


  1. It is a good thing that they're cute bc babies and toddlers are like crazy people at times! I wish I had a helpful tip for you, but I am still trying to figure how to get my kids to eat and how to make meals less chaotic. At least you know that you're not alone! :)

  2. Life is hard when you're 16're funny! :-)

    Fave Line: "Like screaming for her life HATES it!" Such good writing my friend, and you're right, she's totes adorbs!

  3. That was so nice of you to let Aniya's mom sleep in. My almost 2 year old usually wakes up by 6:30, so having someone else whisk her away in order to wake up whenever would be so nice! I don't know that I have any eating tips. My baby eats better than I remember her sister's eating, but I can't think of anything I have done differently to make that happen. I am wondering if it is just differences among kids.