Ever since we went from puréed foods to solids, PK has become a pickier eater. Mealtimes are definitely more of a struggle these days, but we've at least come to a few realizations of late:
1. PK always eats really well at daycare
Daycare provides breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Her daily daycare report always includes a list of the things that she ate for each meal, along with set of checkboxes to indicate quantity. The "lots" checkbox is always ticked off for all three meals.
2. PK will always have her morning yogurt
Since we need to wake PK up fairly early for daycare, we always give her something to eat right after she wakes up, so that she doesn't go hungry on the way to daycare. And since I'm a big fan of multi-tasking, I thought it would be a good idea to get her to eat AND sit on the toilet for her morning pee at the same time. So every morning she eats yogurt and drinks milk on the toilet.
3. Morning subway snack is usually well-received until boredom sets in
I always pack PK's morning milk for the subway ride to daycare. More often than not, the milk is rejected. Still, there is the odd time when she decides that she wants it. I also tend to pack a little something for her to eat on the subway, usually fruit. I went through a period of packing her a banana every day. She couldn't get enough of them! Then she got sick of them and just wound up squishing the banana or just holding it until we got to daycare. I also packed muffins and banana cookies for a while. But then she got bored of those too. So then I switched to blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. So far, we're doing well. That is, until she gets sick of that too.
4. Lunch is the best meal of the day
By and large, if there's one meal that PK will gorge herself on, be it at home or at daycare, it is lunch. I don't get it, but I might as well accept it, and make sure that she has a nice, big lunch as a result.
5. Weekend breakfasts are totally up in the air
With the exception of her morning yogurt on the toilet, PK isn't a big fan of eating much at breakfast on weekends. I can't figure out why. I always make her waffles (the frozen kind - I have neither the time nor the energy to be freaking Martha Stuart on weekends), and she totally gets excited about them, but never takes more than a couple of bites. Not that the hubby minds, because he just eats what she won't. At least she seems to be into eating some fruit at breakfast on weekends, so we make sure we give her that.
6. Dinner is hit-and-miss
Oftentimes PK is either too tired after a busy day at daycare to have a proper dinner (much to my dismay). Or when she's not too tired, she's too full from either having had a late lunch or a large lunch (or both). Either that, or sometimes she requests something to eat, and then decides that she doesn't want that. Which really really frustrates me. Let's just say that I have a new appreciation for the "starving children in Africa" bit.
6. Growth spurt = hunger
We can always tell when PK is having a growth spurt because she'll want to sleep a lot (which means alone time - yay!) and she decides to eat a lot.
7. If PK's food is being threatened, she will eat it
A month or so ago, I bought PK a chocolate at Laura Secord (not something that I do often). Like any toddler, she started getting chocolate all over herself. Not wanting to have to wash chocolate stains from her jacket, we decided to take it off. PK hadn't finished the chocolate yet, but she thought that we were taking it away from her. So before we could finish taking off her jacket, she proceeded to stuff the rest of the chocolate into her mouth. She had this look of, "Ha! I totally beat you guys!" Freaking hilarious.
She did the same thing at dinnertime yesterday. She didn't want the rest of her food, so we asked her if we could give a bite to dad. She proceeded to hand some of the food to the hubby, and just as it was in his mouth, she quickly snatched it and stuffed it into her own. Realizing that we had an excellent (if only one-time) tactic on our hands, we decided to capitalize on this. She had a half-eaten banana on her plate, so the hubby asked if he could have a piece. She again mischievously stuffed part of the banana into her mouth. And THEN, she decided to offer a piece to the hubby...FOR REAL. The funny thing is that he HATES bananas, but in order for her to NOT call his bluff, he had to take a little bite. I couldn't contain my laughter.
8. Bananas are meant to be eaten off the peel
Yesterday at dinner, PK begged for a banana. The banana was a day or so from going bad (because she is no longer on a banana kick), so I was more than happy to have her eat it. I got the banana peeled and everything. PK was really excited. And then, the unthinkable happened. I over-peeled the banana, and the over-ripe banana broke in half. It didn't fall on the floor, but that didn't matter; the banana was BROKEN. PK FREAKED OUT. It didn't matter that there was still half the banana in the peel, or that the other half was still perfectly edible. The banana that she wanted - the whole banana with peel and all - was no longer there. We did eventually calm her down, and she did eventually eat the banana (see item #7 above), but boy, was that ever the ordeal!