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I’ve been under constant pressure from everyone around me, since the time he was born, to just feed him all the time. I was told my milk was not sufficient for the little one and I had to fight with the entire world, express my milk and exhibit it like a trophy and scream out, “look I have enough milk for my son to not stay hungry”. I had to fight it out to exclusively breastfeed my son the first six months and later when he fell ill and had to be hospitalized, I again had to fight and let the people around me think I was crazy so as to ensure that my son was breastfed.
Then came the time when he started discovering the taste of fruits and vegetables. From six months to until the time he was around 18 months, the boy was a total foodie. He wanted to taste everything that was on the table. He ate heartily and I loved watching him eat. There was never a time when I had to distract him, show him rhymes and make him eat without him knowing what was going into his mouth – neither did I want that to happen.
Forward to now, the boy is always running around and is more interested in exploring his little world than the food in front of him. Worse, the boy has discovered the taste of cakes, chocolates and ice creams and now that he talks, he knows to emotionally manipulate the right people to get what he wants. This has resulted in days when he misses out on getting the right nutrients because, of course, why would anyone want rice and curry when there is cake and chocolates. However, I am a staunch believer of baby led weaning (neither does my baby like spoon feeding nor loves to have food on his own) and absolutely hate force feeding him. I want him to have a beautiful relation with food, I want him to love what he is eating and I sure don’t want him to consider food as an enemy. That said, one cannot afford to miss out on the right nutrition in the child’s foundation years. As long as he is not hungry and as long as he gets all the necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals to keep him active, keep up on his growth milestones I am happy.
Growth in young children is rapid, so they need special nutrition. Once he turned two, I got what I wished for when the boy started taking his milk with Junior Horlicks. I did my research and found that Junior Horlicks contains nutrients are known to help in brain development and makes the child active. For someone who hates the plain taste of milk, he loves when it is mixed with Junior Horlicks and this has definitely made me a less worried mother when it comes to my baby’s fussy eating pattern. It might be difficult to set healthy food habits for toddlers and follow a particular routine but as long as my baby drinks his two glasses of milk – one in the morning and one in the evening – I am not worried, because, he gets the much needed daily nutrition required to keep up his energy level, develop that tiny little brain and just be active, in general.
And while the elders are eating my head on why my child looks thin as compared to the chubby next door kid, I am not worried as long as he has a healthy weight gain that is just about average and he is not undernourished. So, my dear baby, eat what you want and when you want, I will not stuff your mouth with food because I have your favourite and my trusted drink that provides you with the right foundation in your growing up years!