kids

"Why I feed my toddler formula."

Munchkin Grass Fed
Thanks to our brand partner, Munchkin Grass Fed

“Lawrence! Time for dinner!”

“Come on Law, time to eat!”

My husband and I moved room to room, stalking down our toddler as we went. Normally a tornado of sound and movement, my son has all the stealth of a ninja when it comes to evading meal times. Even when at last seated, the battle would only be half won – what would ensue was tens of minutes of diversions, pleading, and finally coercion, so Lawrence might eat even the smallest morsel of food.

But first thing’s first. We would have to catch him.

Just as I stepped into the hallway, a little foot disappeared into the family room; we turned the corner, just in time to see him launch himself, on hands and knees, into the dining room.

There he had taken refuge under the dining table, wrongly supposing we couldn’t see him, despite his legs plainly sticking out from the table’s shadow. There he lay quietly in his hiding place, his last chance to avoid dinner. My daughter, already seated in her high chair, pushed food off her tray, it landing centimetres from my son’s bouncing feet.

Surely my cooking isn’t all that bad?

Hide and seek professional. Image: iStock.

There is nothing new about toddlers being picky eaters. I’d heard this characteristic attributed to toddlers long before I had one, but the frustration and reality of having a child who won’t eat a balanced meal despite your best efforts will escape you unless you experience it for yourself. Meal times are no longer for eating and nurturing your own body - no, they’re now for alternating between spoon-feeding and encouraging your toddler to eat autonomously with utensils.

They’re for cutting and dicing, or for introducing one food after another, hoping one of the many foods you prepared today will make it into your toddler’s mouth. Even then the final frontier hasn’t been crossed – many foods have successfully made it into my toddlers’ mouths, only to see the light of day again when spat out. What they love one day is no guarantee of what they’ll love the next day. Truly, the joys of parenthood.

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After meals upon meals of chicken nuggets and fries, the only food my children would consume in bites and not nibbles, I took my concern to mothers who had raised toddlers before me. I expected outlandish advice about moulding fruit and deli meats into popular cartoon characters (we’ve all seen the popular Pinterest pins), and recommendations for expensive melamine plates shaped like board games. Not so.

Formula.

"Meal time leaves more food on the floor than in his mouth." Image: iStock.

Formula is now turned to by frustrated parents of picky toddlers as a way to ensure their child gets essential nutrients. Often having been acquainted with a bottle since infancy, toddlers often find drinking their nutrients comforting and familiar. Parents can continue encouraging their child to eat at meal times, but be comforted in knowing that in the instances they fall short, their children’s meals are being supplemented with formula so that their growth and development is still being supported.

Specially-formulated drinks like Munchkin Grass Fed Milk Based Toddler Drink are made with 100% grass fed milk, which is the perfect nutritional supplement for when your one-year-old daughter has thrown potato on the carpet, and you’ve inadvertently stepped in it.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, I know. One day my three-year-old son will no longer prefer to eat only meat during one meal, and his vegetables and grains during another. My daughter’s mouth will come into contact with her food more often than her fingers and the walls and floor of our dining room. Until then though, thank goodness for formula, helping parents grow and develop their toddlers into the next phase of childhood.

What antics do your little ones pull to avoid meal time?

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