After a week of meal strike, I felt relieved but didn't understand why little toddlers do that. Hence, I googled reasons why they turn down meals and was given these points to ponder:
1. Miss Independent.
The toddler wants to decide on things. My mum has allowed my son to choose what shirt he wants to wear and he happily does it. I guess individuality is coming out.
2. Food taste "yucky"
I was told this "Of course, your son has been eating your plain porridge for more than a year daily."
My son was having a porridge strike. No matter how we coax, he will divert his head, block the spoon with his hand and if you insist further, he will burst out in tears.
Healthy porridge made from vegetable and meat puree because he doesn't like to chew yet..
Solution: I started offering my food to him so he gets interested. A spoon of noodles and a spoon of porridge in between. Wonder if it is the right thing to do... But at least he is still eating.
Of course, it means I still have to eat plain not so salty, spicy food so that he can eat off my plate.
Alternatively, I started serving some noodles in the form of ramen, mee suah with soup. He seems to like it but doesn't eat much.
3. She is not hungry right now
I find this reason very true. I can offer a meal to my son and he refuses it. Maybe 15 minutes or 30 minutes later, he will open his mouth wide to eat. Unfortunately it means keeping the food warm or serving it cold.
4. Dinnertime is too rigid
This reason is a bit hard to justify because it will not be a good habit to be eating everywhere. We try to train him to eat in his high chair at the dining table. It will not be a good habit to be chasing him around the living and dining to feed him. So yes, a little rigid but he gets some Youtube time on the highchair during meals.
5. What you are serving is boring.
Gosh... for daily meals, I couldn't help much but I try on weekends when I am not working. So far, the easier I could do is flourless banana pancakes shapes. It takes only 1-2 banana with 1-2 eggs ratio (test it out to see which texture you like).
Mash the banana, beat in the egg and pan fry it with some olive oil. Cut into the shape you desire when you are done.
I have started introducing some jam and butter with his pancakes. Thankfully he will at least eat 2-3 pieces when I do this.
Haven't started other method yet.
Good luck to other mothers of fussy eaters! Best to remember, for my case, at least he was still drinking milk when he had his meal strike. It didn't help he was feeling under the weather by vomitting everytime we tried to feed him solid.