HONEST FOOD {Guest Post by Ashley}

Howdy folks. Sarah and I did a little switch today, per my request, to shake things up a bit. Sarah's done her own version of the nibble tray experiment to share with my readers and I've decided to try my hand at "Honest Food" to share with ya'll. I'm Ashley, by the way, author of The Stork & The Beanstalk. Hooper is my horrible eater. He is 22 months old. I'm also mother to Van, who is nearly 2 months old (where does the time go?). Here we go...

{Veggie burger & Kiwi}

Like a child, my challenges with feeding Hooper are constantly in a state of change. There was a time when it was hard to get Hooper to try new things. Then there was a time when it was hard to get him to eat period. This included things he "liked". Now we're at a stage where he is more willing to try new things and is better at eating his regular stuff. So you're probably wondering what the problem is, right? The problem is chewing. And swallowing. Yup, he'll put the bite in his mouth but then it just sits there. If I remind him to chew, he does this fake chew to totally mock me.

What I should have done, to give the complete honest truth, was photograph the clock at the beginning and at the end because each meal is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Seriously. Some meals take an hour to finish. I've learned to plop myself down at the kitchen table with the boppy to breastfeed Van, the remotes to the TV (in case I need to turn on Gabba Gabba for distraction), my phone (in case it rings), and his cars (an alternate distraction, if needed). It's ridiculous. I even position my chair close enough to the door so I can let our dog in and out. But, as you can see from above, he ate... to be continued.

{Avocado & cream cheese on whole wheat toast, strawberries not pictured}

I got smart for this round and included a before and after of the clock so you have a better idea of the length of the struggle. You can't photograph the struggle. It's like taking a picture of someone before running a marathon and after. Yeah, they did it, but can you feel the burn in their legs or the deflation in their lungs? No soiree. In any case, as you can see by the photos, he ate. I feel like a putz because I'm always complaining about how hard it is to feed Hooper and, lately, how l o n g it takes. And then I photograph this particular meal, and am therefore bound to it, and it doesn't really take so long. If you questioning if the 30 or so minutes it took to "finish" is considered fast, the answer is yes. It was also relatively easy, meaning no major distractions were needed. The TV stayed off and no toys were on the table. Well, that's not totally true. The truth is that the gardeners were next door and he was mesmerized by the sound of the lawn mower. He knows this means strangers in the yard. My favorite day and time to feed Hooper is on Tuesday, when the gardeners come. This boy's eyes are stuck on the window like Jerry Sandusky's eyes are stuck on little boys (low blow?, okay I take it back). In any case, just the mere sound of the gardeners next door had Hooper captivated, eyebrows raised and finger pointing like the coolest thing was going on so close and I was missing it. And with that, his mouth opened and this teeth chewed and by golly, he swallowed. It all has me wondering if it wouldn't be easier to drive to the local hardware store, pick up some of the workers lining the street in front, and pay them to fake mow our lawn during mealtimes. I guess I'll reserve that as a last resort because, you know, sometimes it's nice to have a trick in the back pocket.

{Spinach pancake with blueberries & raspberries}

For this round I also included some photos of the struggle I speak of. I started with bribing him with cars. I do this by giving him a car, letting him play with it briefly, then I take the car away and offer it to him only if he takes a bite of food. Then he takes a bite (best case scenario) and I give him the car back and we repeat. Or... he still refuses the bite (worse case scenario) and I have to turn to plan B which may include either of the following: moving his high chair away from the table (he protests every time) or turning on the TV (Yo Gabba Gabba). Today, the cars were enough and when he did get bored of those, I broke out his favorite book "Go, Dog, Go!" (because of the dogs in cars, of course). Although it did take a while to finish the meal, this one went relatively smoothly with minimal protest. You can only imagine how much longer it takes when there are tears involved.
I think we all do the best we can as mothers. Maybe what I'm doing isn't "right", per say, but it's what works. I'm always open to suggestions, so by all means. I'd like to conclude with a special thanks to Sarah for welcoming me as a guest on her lovely blog and another special thanks to Stanley, who in making his "mum's" life difficult, has made me a new friend across the sea.
*footnote: my post over on Ashley's will be posted tomorrow, her time. Because you see we are in different places and times and well I'm off to France tomorrow too!


  1. Yey happy to see you over here Ashley, really enjoyed your post as usual! Think I need to start recording what theo eats too, (which I said I should do ages ago, but haven't got round to it, whoops!) as we have our ups and downs, ths week is definitely a down, so it's refreshing in a way to read about the techniques used to help them eat! We currently have a dolly who likes to share Theo's meals and be fed, but only if theo eats too...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

    Think I will have a go at the nibble tray too! Good idea!

  2. See with Wolfgang one week he LOVES something and the next week he doesn't. one morning i woke up and my husband made three different breakfasts for wolf to try....needless to say he ate toast with peanut butter . oh they enigma of toddlerhood .

  3. OOO! i forgot one thing! i need that polo for wolf :)

  4. I received your print :) thank you very much


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