A variety pack

One of the things I’m pretty certain I have in common with other parents is my inability to judge E’s eating habits right. At nursery she seems to eat everything with no trouble or fuss, including things she won’t consider at home such as raw carrot or pepper sticks. At home she could happily eat beans at every meal.

On Sundays we often go out as a family, usually to a local attraction – a National Trust place or something along those lines. I like to stop and have something to eat for lunch there and the range can be limited. But E usually eats something, usually of my food. We order two adult meals and she and I share.

Of course last Sunday was different. We went to Thoresby Hall, a hotel in a grand grand house with surrounding parkland. There are often events in the courtyard and they have art and craft shops, as well as a military museum. I wanted a lunch style snack but they didn’t have anything nor did they have a children’s menu so E and I shared a spinach and ricotta canneloni. Or rather, E absolutely troughed it down and could probably have polished off the bits I ate had I not got in there first. Had we ordered three meals, of course, she would have picked and fussed.

This week I made us a dish with some of the frozen leftovers from the Christmas turkey (I know, I know). In the mornings I put these in a lunchbox to take to work but E was interested and insisted on having some “pie” (it was actually lasagna of sorts.) She ate it cold, with a spoon at the dining room table and we still got to nursery on time. I guarantee that if I had to give her breakfast it would take ages and she’d be less obliging.

I guess this kind of attitude makes you look at how we consume food and what we consider to be sensible for breakfast isn’t sensible at all to another. I speak as someone who has eaten trifle, cold pizza, or leftover fish and chips for breakfast on more than one occasion.

But on the whole, I’m still fairly happy with her eating. She still refuses to eat more than she needs, she’s not greedy and can be talked out of eating cake. I do try and trust her to tell me if she;s full or hungry and try to respect that rather than insisting she eats everything. It makes for a varied attitude towards food – sometimes eating loads, sometimes nothing at all.

E’s aunt in Australia has just sent her through some sweet training chopsticks. I think she’s pretty optimistic about Es’s abilities to use cutlery – her current habit is to trough half of her food down with her fingers, no matter the mess. Baby-led weaning has a lot to answer for…

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