top of page
  • Writer's pictureToni

How To Get Your Toddler To Eat

Dinner Time Difficulties

Sketched by Toni Paolillo 2019


Ah, yes! Dinner time has been evolving since she was born. At first, we'd eat around her sleep schedule, just my husband and I. As she grew and it became clear that she had FOMO, we soon realized that we should include her in our meals.

Around 13 months, she told me that she wanted to cook with me and so she did. I had her pour spices in a bowl and mix as best she could. Making dinner became a special time between the two of us. She developed a certain pride that helped her enjoy the food.

As she became a two year old, life began to change again. She was more vocal and specific in what she wanted during meals."Olives!", she would yell. "I want more olives!" Olives became the side dish to all meals. Why? I try not to ask to many questions to a toddler with zero rationale.

Lets now fast forward to tonight. She decided this morning she wanted, "THAI FOOD MOMMY!" Okay, all is bought, cut and prepared. Her newest obsession is being able to set the table so God forbid I be the one to put a fork on the table. The independence is strong and has always been there, part of her old soul, ever since she was an infant.

During dinner she decided that she wanted to play "Abracadabra".

This is where her father and I have to hide stuffed animals, large and small, in our shirts and when she eats 4 bites, she can magically obtain enough energy from the food to make them appear (or misappear as she would say) on the table.

Every vegetable was eaten and every stuffed animal appeared.

How long will we be to keep this charade up without her realizing that we are the ones bringing her stuffed friends to the table? All I can do is ride the waves of parenthood and hope to be one step ahead of her when she creates a new challenge.

I suppose, one day she might not want to eat with us anymore. She'll have things to do and (real) friends to see. So I will try enjoy the magic while it's here and find new motivations for her to eat dinner.

Bon appetit.



bottom of page