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  • Gareth Ellis

The Fun of Feeding Two Children

When you have to feed one child it can be difficult, feeding two can be hectic.

We started feeding Rupert solid food when he was around six months old, starting with mashed banana, and advancing to things like Weetabix and sweet potato.

For the most part he fed really well. He was one of those children who you couldn’t shovel the food in fast enough, he was just ready with his mouth open for the next spoonful.

As most of you will know, all children are different. So, some children will literally sit and eat anything you put in front of them and others will only eat one thing.

Rupert, I’m reliably informed, is like most other children. He will eat something one day absolutely no problem and then the next day he will push it away/throw it around/throw it on the floor until you end up making him his favourite thing (pasta). If he was an adult, I’d tell him to make his own dinner, alas, he’s only two so for now we’ll keep giving in when he doesn’t want something and make him his beloved pasta.

We’ve tried to implement a trick that we gleamed from the Joe Wicks book: Wean in 15, whereby you give them for dinner the thing they refused at lunchtime. I can’t count how many times that has worked, and he’s happily munched down the thing that hours before he had decided was the worst thing on this earth.

He was always impatient with eating. Like I said, he hates waiting for food, and he’s yet to realise that food actually needs to be cooked. When he was at nursery we were told that he would shout and bang his little tray/table unless they gave him his first, and even when they did he’d want more afterwards. Nowadays, that means as soon as we say ‘No, Rupert you can’t have a snack, we’re having dinner soon’ he will climb up and sit at the table as if the mere mention of the word means that dinner will be arriving in seconds. He’s just like Jess and I.

Now with Emilia, she does some of the same things as Rupert. She is ready for the next spoonful before you’ve put it back in the bowl, she wants to try most things, and she’s also quite sporadic – meaning one meal she’ll want to eat everything, the next she’ll just want to smile at us all and eat the spoon.

She is also at that adorable stage where you will give her something to feed herself with and she’ll ball it up in her hand. Then when she tries to eat it, she can’t quite make the connection that she needs to open her hand to be able to.

With her we’ve developed a bit of a system. One of us will feed, in between bites of our own dinner while the other one wolfs down theirs quickly so they can take over, all while simultaneously watching to see if Rupert has poured his drink everywhere. It’s a foolproof system really.

I’m intrigued to see how their habits change as they grow. Rupert loves his fruit and veg and I hope that stays, although I’m sure he’ll realise one day that he can have more than plain ready brek or Weetabix for breakfast. Although, I know his Nanna sneaks sugar onto his Weetabix when we’re not looking. What are Nanna’s for, right?

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