Just the way I like it, mum!

 Carrot roundCarrot ShredCarrot Stick
The sigh.  The one that comes after you prepared the meal that you know your child loves, only to be met with rejection today.  We experienced that recently when we were at friends, and it was a bit embarrassing.  ‘I thought you said that he like broccoli, carrots and peas?  I would have left them out otherwise’. 'He does like broccoli, carrots and peas, but tonight it appears he only like peas', said his father who was sitting next to Mr one and a half year old.

This would have usually been a 'sigh' situation.  But I had since learnt that he was not as inconsistent as I thought.  He was actually very consistent.  His carrots needed to be cooked soft enough for him to chew or he wouldn’t be bothered.  While a slight difference in texture might not make much of a difference for us with a full set of teeth, it makes a significant difference for a little one with no molars.  And the size of the carrots offered.  If presented with a large round of carrot, he will give it a go, then realise it is not possible, and give up on all carrots on the plate.

While he loves the independence of using cutlery himself, the bits have to be easy to get on the fork.  Things that ‘stab’ easily, get priority for sure. Anything that needs force or co-ordination gets ignored.  Green beans for example, they need to be chopped to small bits and left to be scooped by the spoon.  Same with silverbeet, (definitely not a fork option) also needs to be finely chopped and well cooked.  Obviously, peas are only a hit if accompanied by a spoon.  And because they are the  favourite, don’t bother expecting any other vegetables to be eaten until peas are gone.  If there is not a pea in sight, carrots?  Yes, sure.  Try offering carrots when peas are there – no way mum.  As for the plate – if it is on mum or dad's plate, it definitely has irresistible appeal…..

So, yes, he does eat carrots, broccoli and peas, but only if they have gone through the ‘mummy’ screening.  Is this installing fussiness?  Not at one and a half years of age, with no molars - it is called making it suitable.

So next time you think your little one 'doesn't like', check to make sure it isn't actually just 'not quite right'.