Prima manducare

halloween candies

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Part of parenting seems to be to tasting foods given to our children. We get that taste in before it is put in front of the child. Call it a toll or tithe.

My wife still does it to Galahad before letting him have an interesting new drink or dish. Or one that she likes but did not get.

They argue about whether or not she took too much. She calls it a bite or sip. He calls it a mouthful or guzzle.

He also complains about her taking the best candy from his Halloween exploits.

Primarily, he is suffering from loss aversion. He envisioned having it. Only now Mama is taking it away from him and diminishing the value.

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baby children cute dress

Photo by Pixabay on

In encouraging Fleur to eat new foods, I often give her something I am eating. When she falters at consuming her meal, I often eat some of hers and make yummy sounds with the idea of showing it is safe to eat.

This safe to eat approach is based on evolutionary theory that children pay attention to what parents eat to determine what is safe. She would look dubious at some things we gave her that we also were not. And then she also demanded things we had in front of us.

The eating and saying yummy has backfired because when she is done, she now holds it out to me to eat. No one else. Just me.

Recently, this has morphed into her feeding me. She will put food next to my mouth until I eat it. Of course, these are foods given to her to eat that she stopped consuming.

At least the food doesn’t go to waste.


Messy eating

girl eating watermelon

Photo by Dazzle Jam on

A friend posted a photo of his kid’s first experience with a messy food and the spectacularly messy result. It reminded me that we totally have a strategy for certain foods like this that tend to get everywhere.

  1. Undress the kid. This keeps from having to treat the clothing with more expensive products to get out stains.
  2. Save the messy foods for just before bath-time. Wet washcloths work best for getting the food off skin. The bedtime routine includes a bath. Saving these foods for dinner makes it easy to go straight from mess to cleaning them in the bath to bed.

Impressive how much of a mess kids make. I remember my younger brother particularly getting a blackberry cobbler all over himself. Fleur seems more inclined to wearing food than necessarily eating it.

Our metric for how much she liked something was based on how much she ate versus played with the food. Of late, I am more dubious about this measure as it seems she can get bored. Interest in novelty can be good, but also challenging as we figure out what she wants without words.