Parenting is chocca block full of ups and downs – from first smiles and cosy cuddles, to sleepless nights and dinner table battles. Meal times with a fussy eater can be mega stressful – think Ninja Mum vs. Fussy Baby – and as someone who’s lived through it, I highly recommend you make sure you always have wine and chocolate in the house. Not for the baby, of course (that would just be wrong!), but so YOU have something to drown your sorrows with during those meal times when it all gets a bit too much.
If you’re mum to a little foodie fuss pot, here are 11 other things you’ll know to be true…
When all else fails - yoghurt (Credit: Getty)
1. Yoghurt = actual lifesaver
I could kiss the face of whoever invented the tiny weeny yoghurts that ensure at least something will be eaten for dinner.
2. They like to keep you on your toes
If last week they gobbled up blueberries like they were going out of fashion, you can bet your life this week they prefer to launch them at the patio doors.
3. Eating out is super stressful
Once they get to the age where you can’t whip out a pouch of food, it’s pretty awkward/ tricky / a huge waste of money ordering plain pasta and broccoli which will no doubt end up on the floor.
There's often more food on their face than in their tummy (Credit: Getty)
4. The TV/iPad is your friend
When we went on our first family holiday we realized the only way to get our baby to eat something was to distract her with the TV - and that’s when meals times with Jungle Book playing in the background began. We have since watched it roughly 574 times (a day!) in order to get our daughter eat instead of throwing a tantrum. Top tip: try and pick a film/ show you can stomach.
5. You learn to get creative
In an attempt to get them to eat veg, you have to get those creative juices flowing to think of ways of hiding it in their food. Think grated carrot and apple in burgers and whizzed up avocado in pasta sauce - masked by pesto and cheese, of course.
6. Beige is the new black
When my niece was little we nicknamed her the Carb Queen as she went through a phase of eating nothing but potatoes (in every form), pasta and rice. Wouldn’t fancy it myself, but as long as they’re eating, eh!
You have a black belt in disguising veg (Credit: Getty)
7. They have a ‘safe food’
For us its pasta, pesto and peas, for my friend’s little boy it’s sausages and another friend’s little girl used to go crazy for green olives (only the green, mind) with the red pimentos in the middle. Go figure!
8. You might feel like cutting out the middle (baby) man
Some days I genuinely think it might be easier just to put the meals directly in the food recycling caddy and just cut out the middle man entirely. That’s usually when the wine comes out!
9. Out with the organic home-made meals, in with the frozen fish fingers
We all start our weaning journey with the best intentions – mine included giving my kid mainly organic fruit and veg and making it all from scratch. Now? If I could guarantee she’d actually eat a Turkey Twizzler or a fish finger, you bet it’d be on the menu.
Cake for dinner? Brilliant! (Credit: Getty)
10. Your standards will lower as you have more kids
A good friend of mine with three boys explained weaning to me like this. “With my first, I once peeled so many baby tomatoes my fingers bled. With the second I bought in some stuff but still mostly cooked everything from scratch. Third child - Ella’s pouch, straight in the mouth, no spoon.”
11. When it all gets too much remember it’s just a phase
I mean, how many adults do you know that survive on a diet of breadsticks and Petis Filous?