I didn’t care that Kaia’s “toddler selectivity” started around the time she turned 1 year old. All these mom colleagues of mine teased me and said that there would come a day soon when my child would not happily shovel broccoli and asparagus into her mouth, when she would not embrace all food simply because I presented it to her. Annoyingly, the day came sooner than I was hoping, but I did not care: I was NOT going to face defeat with this. I was NOT going to stop giving her vegetables simply because she expressed disinterest at a handful of meals. I have gone through far, far harder things than this. I had to deal with my brother’s mental illness and suicide. I had a dysfunctional family growing up. I dealt with workplace politics, toxicity, and borderline bullying. I went through IVF and a natural birth. I exclusively pumped for 14 months and battled a love-hate relationship with it. I was tougher than this and was going to get through this!
So even when she repeatedly refused things, I still gave it to her. I still made sure she saw it on her tray. I made sure she saw us eating it. Even if she only touched it, that would still be a win because touching leads to eating. And this weekend, incredibly, she didn’t refuse anything we gave her. She at least ate a little bit of everything. She especially embraced her asparagus, which she hadn’t had since last summer; she sucked all the “meat” out of them until just the woody, fibrous pieces were left. She tore up her broccoli and shoveled it into her mouth. She even started accepting finger-fulls of hummus straight from my hands.
While many would say we are blessed with a good eater, I would say it’s partly a blessing and partly perseverance. This stuff takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. And I remain committed to ensuring Kaia Pookie is a true omnivore.