I recently posted on facebook about how I just keep food accessible to Disha and she eats when she is hungry. Fruits, grated carrots and beetroot, dry fruits, boiled groundnuts or corn or sweet potato, our favorite vegan ice cream, vegan whole wheat cake and ragi porridge are typically there at home. At meal times various combinations of brown rice, dal, chappati, pasta, dosas, veggie and salad. For most part, she knows where, what snack is kept. The food is kept at her level, so that she need not ask us to give it to her every time.
On weekdays, we go to the park almost every evening. Mornings are typically spent riding her cycle. At times, we end up having tender coconut or a couple of bananas during our time outside if we get hungry. At other times, when we get back home, she is hungry with a big H. Much to my (hidden) delight she helps herself to food and before I can even realize, she is munching away and asking me for water.
Now-a-days, after her afternoon naps, she wakes up demanding mangoes or custard apple. Or a carrot will do.
Of course there are days when she isn’t very interested in food or eating. And that’s ok. Because there are many other days when she wakes in the morning ravenously hungry or is wanting food all day long, that I run out of ideas.
Then there are days when she likes to pretend that she is unable to eat by herself and wants either Karthik or me to feed her. We oblige although we tell her that we prefer if she ate on her own.
When she turned 2 years, she would wake me up at around 2:00 am on most nights saying she was hungry. Karthik and I took turns to fight our sleep, get up and give her food. And this went on for about 2 months. We were quite glad when it was over and she was happy just nursing back to sleep if she woke up. Yesterday, she got up at 2:00 am asking for water. After drinking, I tried to nurse her back to sleep. Two minutes later, she said she was hungry. I suggested that since we are all very sleepy we could just try going back to sleep and then get up in morning to have a heavy meal. Well, it did not work. She said- “Amma, when I say I am hungry, I really am. Give me a custard apple and some cake.” So I roused myself and we trudged into the kitchen, got what she wanted and sat at the dining table. A couple of minutes later, she said, “Amma you look very sleepy, you go sleep, I will eat”. That was a first and made my sleep disappear completely. But I still went into our bedroom. After 5 minutes of Disha talking to her imaginary friends and feeding them (and herself), she called out-“Amma, hand wash”. After we washed hands, she was quite content, came back to bed and was fast asleep in the next few minutes. Hugging her, I too drifted back to sleep, thinking about her free spiritedness.