Sunday, 1 July 2012

How to get your child to eat his food

This is a how to get your child eating his food well (if he is Dylan).  This is a tried and tested method with Dylan.  This has not been tested on other babies and so may not work with yours.

Dylan insists on many things in life.  He knows when it is bed time.  He knows when it is time to get up in the morning.  He knows when he wants a nap.  He will call "Daaaaa... Daaaaa" when he wants to get up, and he will whinge and whine lots when he is ready to go to bed.  And he knows who he is happy to leave the room and who he isn't.  Mummy can't go anywhere.  Daddy can sometimes.

In some situations you can manipulate things to get your own parental way.  However when it comes to feeding time at the Dylan zoo, then Dylan's way is the only way.  Otherwise he will dinosaur your face off!

Dylan 'dinosauring my face off'.

Dylan has 3 meals a day.  He has his milk, and then his food around 30 minutes later.  His first milk of the day must come within seconds of getting out of bed.  As soon as he is downstairs, he screams in baby language "MILK MILK MILK!! GET ME MILK NOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!".  If you were me, you'd do as your told.

After his first milk he will have his weatabix or his porridge.  He has both of them mixed with whole milk and microwaved for 40 seconds.  And then stirred, not shaken.  He knows if you have followed his instructions wrong, so it's best to do it this way ever time.  This is the only meal of the day he will accept being spoon fed.  He eats his cereal with a 99% reliability.  He finishes off every mouthful 90% of the time.  He turns away breakfast 1% of the time.  He's a big fat boy, so we don't fret if he misses one meal in a hundred.  As long as he's had his milk.

For lunch, he will not be spoon fed.  As soon as he realised that he has teeth, he has fingers, and he had mastered the pincer grip, he decided to flex his independence muscles by way of refusal.  If you offer him anything savoury on a spoon he will thwart it across the room without a second thought.  So for lunch he will often have things such as a cheese sandwich.  Other times he has cheese and bread separately.  He will often have scrambled eggs on toast.   Other times he will have a mix of cheese squares, ham, bread soldiers, cucumber sticks and various other nibbly things.  He eats his lunch with 90% reliability.  We always make too much in case he decides will would rather play catch with his imaginary friends who sit all around him at the high chair.  And when he has had enough, he will let you know by clearing his plate.  He does this is a very clear and methodical way.  First - SMASH IT!  He likes to demonstrate that the food is no longer fit for purpose by crushing it with his incredible hulk fists.  And then he will flail his arms like E Honda (the fat guy from street fighter) until his tray is empty.  Job done.

Dinner can be a little bit tricky.  As by this time of day he starts to get tired.  And just like his mother, when he is tired, he can be a little tricky to handle.  You would need to be a mix between a hostage negotiator, a lion handler and a makeshift Egyptian dinner time god to be able to say or do the right thing when either of them become tired.  His dinner comes in the format or things like pizza and veg, fish fingers and veg, whatever we have for our dinner and veg.  In veg we trust!  The veg we use is frozen mixed veg.  They come in handy small pieces which are ideal for finger food.  The other bits of his dinner are all cut up to be finger sized too.  He eats his dinner also with a 90% reliability.  And again will demonstrate to you that he is finished with his SMASH and THROW technique described earlier.  When he starts to get a little tetchy but our parental spider sense kicks in and we know he is still hungry despite his primate style behaviour, a good technique that works quite well is to break his food up in to even smaller chunks, so that they are literally bite sized.  By this time of day he sometimes finds chewing away at chunk of food a little tiring.  After all, he has had a busy day.  

Another winning tip is to never put too much food on his plate for his lunch or dinner.  If he see's a whole pile of food he decides that he couldn't possibly decide what piece to eat next, so he manually reduces the amount of food available by using all his available limbs.  He likes to have his food segmented so he can pick and choose what piece to eat next.  He likes to have his peas to one side so that he can roll them around and perfect his pincer grip.  Its a little bit pedantic, but it is his preferred way.

The main thing is that as long as you allow him to feed himself, and to present the food to him in an easy to manage way, then he will eat everything.  He will even feed you too, to demonstrate that he is happy with you.  Much like a cat bringing you a dead bird.  But a lot nicer to receive, being a human and all.

In case you are ever likely to babysit my child, you will find this very helpful.

How does your child get on with eating?

Please read my other posts such as my post about lazy stay at home parents -


  1. Sounds very much like feeding time in our house sometimes and I absolutely loved this line:

    "And just like his mother, when he is tired, he can be a little tricky to handle"

    Made me laugh so much :)

  2. Thanks for reading and also for the RT :D glad you liked it

  3. This is a lot like our feeding time although Z is more like chin Li and likes to almost do somersaults. Thank god for high chairs with straps all over the place! :)

  4. Brilliant. Reminded me of feeding mine when they were little. My eldest was always too busy to stop to eat so I used to follow him around with a bowl of weetabix and a spoon. He did grow out of that....


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