Parents

20 Things Every Parent Must Learn About Food During the First Three Years of Parenthood

12/14/2016 12:20am ET | Updated December 14, 2016
Chris Cate

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1. Babies don’t have breakfast, lunch and dinner times. They have food spilling, stealing and throwing times. And those are all of the time.

2. The most comforting thing you can tell your baby isn’t “I love you” or “You’re going to be okay.” It’s “Are you ready to eat?”

3. When restaurants give babies crayons, it’s not for entertainment. It’s to give them something to throw instead of the silverware. So be vigilant in restaurants that don’t have crayons.

4. It’s not baby food if you’re a hungry adult. And you will be a hungry adult.

5. When your baby learns to talk, you will realize all of those philosophical things you thought your baby was saying were just demands for more food.

6. You say potato. I say potato. A toddler says, "No!" and throws it on the floor.

7. Sharing food with a toddler is like sharing an armrest with a stranger. Give them a little and they'll take it all.

8. Toddlers don't go out to eat with their families. They go out to eat with everybody in the restaurant.

9. When you catch a toddler red-handed, it’s usually ketchup.

10. When a toddler has a crumby day, it’s been a great day for them.

11. People who say don’t sweat the small stuff have never tried to pick up a thousand goldfish crumbs from between the couch cushions.

12. Booster seats are excellent for helping toddlers who aren’t quite tall enough to crawl onto the kitchen table.

13. You will legitimately want to know if it is called a high chair because of its height or because your toddler acts like they’re on drugs in a restaurant.

14. A hair in your food doesn’t seem so gross once you have a toddler because there’s usually been something much, much worse in your food, like a toddler hand.

15. Toddlers can hear the opening of a pantry or refrigerator from 250 miles away.

16. Toddlers do adhere to the five-second rule. It’s just that they believe five seconds is a VERY long time.

17. Trying to figure out the right plate and food combination for a toddler is like trying to complete a Rubik’s Cube for the first time, every time.

18. Feeding a toddler mostly consists of lying about how good a food tastes.

19. When a threenager brings you a drink, it's not necessary to tip. They've already taken a 20% sip.

20. The best emergency contact for a threenager is the pizza delivery guy.

This list is an excerpt from the brand new book The ParentNormal Crash Course: Everything Traditional Parenting Books Are Afraid to Tell You About Close Encounters of the Baby, Toddler and Third-Year Kind. Get it now on Amazon.com.