It’s morning and the children are geared up to go school. They sit down for breakfast, which includes a glass of milk apart from food. Peanut downs his glass in a jiffy and is waiting at the door. However, he has to wait for his little sister who takes her own sweet time and after rounds of cajoling, motivating, irritation and many hurrays for each sip, she finally finishes her milk. Her milk intake has gotten a lot better but honestly there are days I just don’t want to give her any milk, to avoid all that fuss over it.
Previously I had chronicled how Peanut my super fussy eater, got a whole lot better when we introduced a health supplement in his milk with his regular diet. I was preparing myself for the same ordeal with my younger one but she gave us a pleasant surprise. Buttercup loved variety. Add some masala and some crunch and texture to the food and she was one happy little toddler. She was breastfed right through and along the way I introduced a Ragi milk dish (her first foray into solid food). The transition to solid food was really no problem; the issue was her not taking to regular cow/ buffalo milk. Once the breastfeeding stopped, that milk intake became even more essential. But Ms. Buttercup was not one to relent. At least not without a good fight.
As parents we had to change gears with her and stumbled upon a few tricks that worked for us –
- Very early on we realized that TV time only meant that the glass full of milk was just held and not sipped, as all focus was on the TV. This meant hours of cajoling but only a few sips down. But thanks to some early intervention by my mother in law, story telling We would sit the children at the table, Ms. Buttercup on her high chair and the milk would be sipped with some vivid story telling. The story moved with every sip of milk that she took.
- Music: Heard of the jingle in the advertisement by Operation Flood (a project of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)? Doodh doodh doodh doodh doodh, wonderful doodh,Piyo glassful How can one resist milk after that jingle!!! Today morning during breakfast, Hubby and self actually sang this song to our kids, much to their amusement. And the milk? – It was all gone into their little tummies.
- Chose the right glass: I have heard that different types (vibrant colours and shapes) of glasses can make it fun to drink milk. But this did not work in Buttercup’s case. However, what did work was finding her a glass that she could hold comfortably on her own (she’s a very independent little girl). So I chose a glass that was light in weight and one that was easy to wrap around her tiny fingers.
- Play table games – Buttercup enjoys pretending that she’s holding a hot cup of tea and sipping on that like we do. She becomes this mini adult who sits straight and picks her glass of milk and sips it as if it were steaming hot and we join in. Whatever works! ∙
- When Buttercup was nearing the terriblethrees mark, she started to get a little fussy over food. While I took time to start preparing dishes she enjoyed or simply ones that she ate fuss free, I relied on the health drink that her brother was already gulping down. For me this was by far the quickest and hassle free way to supplement their food with age appropriate nutrition. All I had to do (and still do) is add the vitamins and minerals rich supplement to their milk and be rest assured that on super fussy days she was still getting her dose of the smart nutrients. And then there are the yummy flavors these supplements come in. The change of flavor from plain milk to chocolate was a great kick and Buttercup lapped it up. But she is not an easy one to please so then we had to change the flavor of her health drink. Sometimes vanilla, Sometimes chocolate. Thank God for variety.
- Work your way up: And the last tip that really worked for us was start with super small quantity of milk and build that up so slowly that they she did not even realize that she was actually consuming much larger quantities. We literally started with less than a quarter glass of milk and would cheer her on when she finished. And because the quantity is so little she would think she’s some superstar for finishing her glass of milk. Slowly and little by little we have continued to increase the quantity of her milk and she now drinks a half glass of milk. Nowhere near how much we would want her to drink but it’s a start.
Right start for right growth.
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