Lately I’ve been thinking about how to go about feeding Sweet Potato. It sounds so elementary, but really, how shold I be doing this? Should I spoon feed her anything anymore? I still do- just for things like yogurt, because she is not interested in trying to use a spoon. So I wonder if I should start giving her a spoon with all her food? Or just yogurt, even if she then goes on to eat it with her fingers. (Or rather, get it all over herself and her tray.) Should I give her a fork with her solid foods so that she begins to understand the concept of utensils? Should I feed her whole banana, or should I still cut it up? I have been because one time I gave her big chunks and she just stuffed her face with it. Talk about choking hazard!
And is there any order I should follow when presenting her with foods? When I talk to friends about feeding kids, several people have mentioned to me that they will give their child a less preferred food first, and not put the favorite food on the plate until the other is finished for fear that the child won’t eat that healthy but not quite as delicious food. I’ve been tempted to do this, but have actually found it unnecessary to this point. Sure, Sweet Potato eats all of her strawberries before she takes a bite of eggs, but once the berries are gone and the muffin is half eaten she’ll tuck into the eggs as well, and ends up eating most of everything. My mom asked if she ever stops eating, and my answer was “no- not as long as there is something in front of her to pick at.” Also, I remember reading Ellyn Satter say that you can even put dessert on the table for kids and let them eat it as part of their meal. I think she said that in How to get your Kid to Eat (But not too much). Isn’t that strange advice?
On another note, I picked fresh Swiss chard out of my garden last week, and made it into a quiche! It was delicious, and Sweet Potato at all of it! I thought she might turn her nose up at the chard because, as my mom says, “it tastes very green.” But I guess there was enough variety to the dish to make her like it. I ended up picking far more than I needed for the quiche, so I sautéed the extra chard and put it into the fridge to feed to SP later. I’ve served it to her twice besides the quiche (and quiche leftovers) and she hasn’t eaten it just by itself, but I figure I just have to keep offering it to her. One of these days she’ll decide it’s good. It would also be a good idea to eat some of it myself in front of her. I haven’t been the best example of healthy eating. Me the dietitian!