Feeding kids starts at conception and never.ever.ends. Humans are the only species that give their kids a choice of what to eat. For example, a bird regurgitates her food and gags it into her baby’s mouth. A dung beetle actually lays her eggs in “poop” for them to eat when they hatch. Mammals nurse their young until they the babies find food on their own. Reptiles actually lay their eggs and leave; never to return. The kids must fend for themselves. Humans are a little more complicated.
Guide to Feeding Kids
Feed…burp…wipe up, spit up…done. If it were that easy, we’d have clean hair and matching clothes every day after giving birth. This stage is a boot camp for mothers on how to feed their young. Here you learn you are not in complete control of anything anymore.
Everything is mashed and will cover you and all surrounding surfaces with goo after your six month old spits it out. Also, this is the time to video tape your facial movements as you feed your baby. You may be surprised what you look like. This will be the end of feeding your kids what you want them to eat, like green vegetables or food that is mixed together.
Morsels of food appear at this stage. Toddlers have an instinctive ability to throw food across room at a tremendous velocity. When a toddler throws food off the highchair, the site of impact is amazingly large. Sippy cups that don’t leak are introduced. Be prepared for repetitious back exercises from picking up the sippy cup and food that the toddler drops on the floor about sxty-three times a day.
The tastes of a preschooler become more refined. Be prepared for the outright “NO” to anything they ate as babies. Also, they will eat about ¼ of what you put in front of them. Food is considered contaminated if it touches anything else on the plate.
The School Age Child
School lunches and eating at friend’s houses begin during this time. Your child now discovers toaster tarts and becomes aware of all the junk food you’ve hiding for the several years. This is where your mother begins to surface in your vocal cords. For example, “If you eat too much candy your teeth will get cavities” or “You will sit at this table until you finish your vegetables”, etc. Be prepared for stunts including, ‘stuffing their cheeks to go spit them out in the toilet’, or ‘I don’t feel well, so I can’t eat that’, or the ‘hide the gross stuff under something else on the plate’ stunt. This is when you say, “I was a kid once. Don’t you think I know all these tricks?” Yes, your mother’s voice is back…
Teenagers are bottomless pits. Hollowed legged humans existing on sleep and pizza. All you can do is stock the pantry and consider buying your own cow for the amount of milk they drink. If they refuse to eat what you have in the house, just offer to hold their phones or car keys for a while.
Parenting is learning how to go through the stages of childhood without losing your mind. I turn to the Wolf Spider. This mom carries up to 3,000 eggs in a sack on her bottom. Only to have them hatch and crawl up on her back to eat. Guess we humans have it easier than we think.