The Colour Beige: My Battle With A Fussy Eater

22/08/2017 14:24 BST | Updated 22/08/2017 14:24 BST

There's a fussy eater in the house. It's certainly not me or Craig, who set upon anything remotely edible in our path with luxuriant fervour seen only in George Romero's (RIP) zombie movies. Harry started off really well. He weaned early and quickly and it showed in his steady weight gain and above average height. But now that he's old enough to eat some proper meals with all his shiny new teeth (10 and counting!!) he's not interested. I lay feasts before him prepared by my own hand and he turns his nose up like a spoiled little Prince. But why?

I suppose it started when I got him off bottles and formula when he turned one. Because he has a dummy and because I'm extremely paranoid, I thought it best that he gave up bottles because of his teeth. Also he's really big so it looked weird for him to even have a bottle.

After the relative ease of weaning him off his 'bock bock' though, it was a struggle to get him to eat breakfast. Urgh, talk about swings and roundabouts. He had 200 ml of cows' milk morning and night (after a few weeks' battle to get him to even have that), which he had out of his Munchkin 360 cup, but didn't want toast, pancakes or porridge. He was just happy with a snack at around 10. Me, being the aforementioned panicky parent, meant that I couldn't bear the thought of his empty little belly rumbling so I made it my mission to introduce a good breakfast over time. Now he eats fruit but nothing else, which is as good as it's going to get.

After that though his diet has started to be really fussy and restricted. When he was weaning he loved Thai noodles, cous cous, chilli con carne and tonnes of other stuff which made me think I'd done something right according to the Church of Annabel Karmel. Nope. Fast forward to 15 months and the palette of his meal times is beige, white and more beige. Literally all he will eat is pasta with just cheese, dairylea sandwiches, those weird Barny bear things, turkey dinosaurs, plain cheese and tomato pizza and chicken dippers. Aldi dippers of course, we're not made of Bruce Wayne Birdseye money. I make sure everything's 100% chicken breast and reasonably low salt so it's not like I'm wilfully ignoring his nutrition just because he has chosen to. I also get him to have a big portion of veg with it so it's not all bad.

It's weird because I said when he was tiny that I'd never be a convenience food mum but Harry's forced my hand somewhat. Learning to be adaptable and going with the flow is a huge part of being parent to a toddler and as anyone in the same position will know, sometimes it's just about picking your battles and whatever gives everyone an easier life.

Occasionally I will try and make him a proper meal like a chicken curry with hidden veg and whole grain rice, when I snap and say he's never eating frozen shit again after shoving another load of French fries in the oven. I'll make it and I'll chat to him whilst doing so. It'll take me 25 minutes or something daft. It won't be the same curry we have because toddlers have a wiener level of spice so it's not like he can 'eat what we eat'. Eating what/when you eat is a bullshit concept as well, in my opinion. I'm not eating frigging Flipper Dippers and beans at 5 pm, ta very much.

Anyway, back to the curry. I'll put it in front of him with his spoon and fork and try to be really enthusiastic/mental like an idiot 'Mmmmmm!!!! Curry, Harry!!! Won't you eat the nice curry, angel-bum?!?!? Please eat it!!' He looked at the curry (on his favourite Mickey Mouse plate, which has been my lucky charm for getting him to eat in the past) then looked at me and smiled.

Great, I thought, he's gonna love this meal I've lovingly prepared. Nope, he flipped the plate onto the floor. Defeated, I scraped the last of the curry off the carpet and into the bin. Swearing under my breath, I switch the oven on and put fish fingers and sweet potato chips in the oven and veg in a pan. That'll teach me for taking on a toddler and his precious bloody dippers.