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Toddler Food Wars

Lately Annabelle and I have been going through some food wars. We’ve fallen into a rut and she doesn’t want to eat anything. Except raisins, crackers and spinach cakes. I’m pretty sure it started around the same time our breakfast wars began and it’s gotten increasingly worse, seeping into other meals. Annabelle loves pre-packaged frozen spinach cakes and veggie burgers and I’ve fallen into the trap of giving them to her because ‘at least it’s a vegetable’. But she’s stopped wanting to eat real, fresh food and it’s driving me nuts.

I cook dinner every single night. There is always healthy food in the house, there’s no reason Annabelle shouldn’t be eating it. The problem is that since it’s been about 2 months of extreme pickiness I’ve gotten to the mindset of thinking that she won’t eat anything so I make her a plate and then add something to it that I know she’ll eat, like Alexia sweet potato fries, or a spinach cake. And then that’s all she eats. I’ve been trying to entice her with some of these meals lately because she used to love fresh veggies and she used to love meatballs with veggies in them.

These are turkey meatballs made with spinach and carrots that Annabelle used to love. Served on a bed of steamed kale drizzled with truffle oil and orzo lightly tossed in olive oil and sea salt. All Annabelle ate was some orzo.


The next night was home made Chinese food. Chicken thighs with broccoli and snap peas with soy sauce and some jasmine rice and a side of peas for Annabelle. She picked at a few peas. She would have eaten the rice but I gave her a spoonful with some chicken hidden under it and that was unacceptable so she spit it out and refused any more.

Then I made lamb, which I was fairly certain she wouldn’t eat since she’s never really liked it. So I made her a little toddler tray with a variety of things to pick through. She had broccoli and carrots, cranberries, peas, strawberries, home made chickpea burgers and jasmine rice. All she had were a few cranberries.

So even though I hadn’t been giving in and giving her anything else at dinner when she didn’t eat she’d been having not the best snacks and lunch during the day. Some organic peanut butter crackers, some raw cheddar cheese, spinach cakes, multigrain crackers, veggie burgers. The thing is that what she’d been eating for the past 2 months hasn’t been terrible junk food and I’ve been telling myself that at least it’s a vegetable or it’s OK because she’s still getting vitamins and protein from breastmilk. And to be honest, I thought maybe she was teething and that it was a texture thing and I never ever imagined that it would last this long. And I never thought she’d stop eating things she used to love, like carrots, broccoli, salmon, even pasta.

We need an intervention! I can’t stand it that she doesn’t want any fresh food anymore. The majority of my life revolves around healthy food so for Annabelle to no longer want anything is heartbreaking. This is a child who has never, ever eaten baby food out of a jar. I made 95% of her food from scratch and she would only have an organic baby food pouch when we were going to out to eat. These food wars might sound silly, but they have literally brought me to tears. So that’s it. I’ve come to the realization that she won’t starve, eventually she’ll eat something. No more crackers, no more veggie burgers, no sweet potato fries. Just real food.

Yesterday was day one… stay tuned to see what happens

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April 13, 2024 at 9:59 pm
Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

February 21, 2023 at 2:31 am
Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I'll keep an eye out for your answers.


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