Toddlers can be very fussy eaters. Trying to make them eat a varied, healthy diet can lead to unintended consequences. Whereas Number One Aunt insisted from the start that Number One Cousin always eats at the table, I took a more liberal stand after it became clear that Number One Son deserted the dining room table and fidgeted with the offered food. Thus, I took the plates to the living room and created one more ‘couch potato’ eater. He also took into running between the table and his favourite cartoons. Even when the television was switched off!
The need to improve the table manners and eat more often at the same table as a family was made even clearer during the summer holidays and family visits. Since we were eating unusually often out, we had to face the difficulties resulting from our lax ways. Definitely our son was not behaving like those French children who are expected to behave like adults from a young age. No, it is more like a face red with tomato sauce and spaghetti shreds layered both on the table and beside it.
With a fuzzy eater the choice of grub at a restaurant is even more important than at home. Number One Son is known to refuse to eat same food on consecutive days. He wants to have variety. Thus, it could not be spag bol every time. However, for some reason the child-friendly foods they seem to want to eat are suspiciously like general comfort foods. One day Number One Son was scoffing French fries, the other he was making a true mess with :ragù.
Back home the sausages are a favourite when choosing from a children’s menu. Tube pasta is easier to eat than spaghetti but getting our using consistently his fork seems to be stretching it. He knows we insist but he keeps ignoring us. With a visit to his greatgrandmother’s just around the corner, we should probably up our game.