One of my proudest moments as a parent was when my daughter’s teacher told me that Nora was the best eater and the best pooper in class.
Nora was calling bran muffins “cookies” until she was about 18 months old. Some of her favorite foods are olives, hummus, whole wheat bread, broccoli and tuna. She once asked for capers to be added to her casserole.
We never ask Nora to try new foods. If I suspect there may be something she’s reluctant to try, I won’t put any on her plate. I’ll give an ample portion to my husband and myself and nine times out of ten she is jealous of something she doesn’t have and will ask for some. I give her some of what’s on my plate and she feels like a grown-up.
It is not a magic trick to get a toddler to eat well. It’s a matter of consistently offering healthy choices. I’ve noticed that when we do have junk food in the house, it’s all any of us can think about eating. So it’s rare for us to have cookies or ice cream in stock. Often, when Nora asks for a treat, I reach in my pocket and pull out an imaginary piece of candy and tell her it’s pink. Then I give her some apple slices with peanut butter.
Considering that as a child I subsisted on bologna, macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs and frosting, you’d think karma would dictate that my daughter would be picky. Luckily, this is not the case, and I continue encourage her healthy eating habits. Thankfully, poop is the least of my rewards for the effort.