I don’t know a single parent who can’t relate to a story of crushed cereal all over the back of the car or a squeezable pouch gone wild that ended up in a stranger’s hair. Feeding our kids is a learning experience for both toddlers and parents as we attempt to figure out likes and dislikes, the best sources of nutrition, and the best strategies for minimizing meltdowns and messes.
I’ve certainly had my feeding victories, like watching my son inhale a big bowl of quinoa or seeing his face light up as he devours a veggie-laden muffin. But we’ve also had our fair share of funny feeding moments too, like yogurt explosions, high chair acrobatics, and edible works of art.
Click through to see 10 of our most ridiculous moments in toddler feeding (and make sure to visit Happy Family’s Facebook page to share one of your own for a chance to win $20,000 towards college for your child!):
10 Hilarious Toddler Feeding Fails 1 of 12
Learning what and how to feed your kids is one of the most hilarious, daunting, exciting, and messiest parts of parenthood (so far!). Here are a few funny tales of our most ridiculous feeding moments to date...
One of many inexplicable food rejections… 2 of 12
This is not just "one moment" but something that feels like it happens all the time. No sooner will Cullen be insisting on eating something and shouting "more, more, more!" as I frantically cut and slice, than I'll turn around and see said coveted item scattered all over the floor beneath the high chair. What gives? It's like he has this idea of what he wants and then as soon as he sees it, he's horrified that I had the audacity to present something as mundane as a banana. The frequency of his food-throwing seems to grow in direct proportion to my appreciation for my floor-cleaning dogs.
"Mom, I filled up my own snack cup!" 3 of 12
When I planned out the organization of our kitchen, I wanted to put Cullen's things within his reach so that he was able to grab things as he needed them. He had a drawer full of cups, bowls, and other items that also served as a great play place when he was a bit younger. At some point he also learned how to open our pantry full of snacks and other dry goods. One particular afternoon, I found him in the living room with a snack cup, a box of cereal, and the world's largest mess. He looked so proud, and I couldn't help but laugh and rejoice with him that a few straggling cereal pieces did, in fact, make it into the cup.
Painting with vegetables 4 of 12
We went through a phase where any time Cullen was finished eating, he let us know by turning what was left on his plate into a work of toddler art. And while I certainly don't miss those messes (this phase is mostly over), it does make me long for a time when he'd actually be willing to eat a few bites of avocado.
"I can do it myself." 5 of 12
One of many of those "quit with the spoon and let me at it" type of moments. I finally caved and let Cullen try to feed himself his own yogurt. The results were disastrous but he was so pleased that I just let him have at it sans the spoon.
Perhaps not quite ready for granola, Dad 6 of 12
One particular morning, I was making our main breakfast (eggs, pancakes, some such thing) and my husband was trying to appease Cullen in his high chair while we waited for it to be ready. This was in his earlier days of feeding when he could pretty much only handle things like large blueberries or chunks of melon. I turned to see that Casey had confidently given Cullen his own cup of fine granola — a perfectly good snack from a nutrition-perspective, but man was it messy. The granola ended up absolutely everywhere, and it felt like it took a week to clean up. This job was too big even for the most scavenging dogs.
"More, more, more!" 7 of 12
Do not be fooled by this picture. This is not a child who has been attacked by a berry monster or an issue of not liking what he's been served. No, rather this IS the berry monster. These are tears of sadness for not being served his hundredth berry (meanwhile, mom is crying tears of sadness over the purple-stained hands she'll be scrubbing in the bathtub). Seriously — where do these little guys put it? I am amazed at how much food he can eat when he's really into something.
First squash, last squash 8 of 12
Nothing is more fun than feeding baby his first foods, right? I loved seeing Cullen's face light up when he'd try something new and discover a flavor he liked. And likewise, we had a good laugh when he tasted his first squash and his face contorted into all sorts of disgust. I'm not sure he's eaten any since!
The first ice cream cone 9 of 12
Cullen had his first ice cream cone last month and as expected, it was a huge hit. His tongue was hanging out of his mouth the entire time as he begged for more licks and by the end, his face was dripping with sticky, pink and brown sugar. It was ridiculous and awesome — one of those great parenting moments that sticks with you. Do ice cream cones ever get less exciting?
Learning to use a spoon 10 of 12
There comes a time in toddlerhood when you have to stop literally spoon-feeding everything to your kids and let them explore and discover the world out on their own. I'm not sure why the day I decided to let Cullen try using his own spoon was also a day when I was apparently out of bibs, but as you can see, the result was pretty messy. He was so proud of himself for navigating that cumbersome spoon up to his mouth though, and a little extra laundry never hurt anyone.
The day I decided there would be no more snacking in the car 11 of 12
Ahhhhh the Cheerio car. I said I'd never have one, and yet I cringe every time I look at the crumb-covered backseat of my once beautiful and clean ride. We used to live way out in the 'burbs, which meant lots of long car rides for me and Cullen. One of the only ways to get through those was to offer snacks to the restless wiggler in the backseat. One particular afternoon I was out of snack cups so I ended up just handing Cullen a plastic baggie full of cereal. He promptly dumped the entire thing into his lap, and then proceeded to crush each piece into a fine powder over the course of our ride. And that was the last time we ate cereal in the car!
Share your stories! 12 of 12
Do you have a funny feeding story to share? Happy Family is hosting a campaign this summer to find the best stories that shine a humorous light on food and feeding challenges that all of us parents inevitably experience. Head over to the Happy Family Facebook page to share your own story and to revel in the fact that you are not alone — we've all had our fair share of spills, smears, and public disasters. Happy Family will pick a funny feeding story and award $20,000 towards your child's college education! Hey, it could be you!