Coping with a fussy eater is never an easy task and it doesn’t just involve toddlers either. Fussy eating can last well into adulthood. Most families look forward to the prospect of sitting down together and enjoying a mean but sometimes it doesn’t end up being a relaxing or enjoyable experience. Here are some helpful hints to help you cope with mealtimes in a fussy household:
- Don’t stop serving up a wide variety of food. Introduce as many different types of food as you can early on in a child’s life. Hiding veggies isn’t always successful, as kids are too smart and see right through this one. Be upfront about serving fruit and vegetables, explain why they are good for you and where they come from. Maybe try something new on a small plate as a starter before their main meal, so they get a new surprise to test out each mealtime.
- It’s easy to get frustrated and annoyed but this could be compounding the problem. Focusing only on bad behaviour still gains the child attention so no matter how hard it is, try to praise them for what they have eaten. It won’t be easy but you might find that mealtimes become a little less of a battlefield. If you’re struggling for inspiration and want some new ideas to bring to the table, take a look at some Food Recipes from http://food-tales.com/online-food-recipes/
- If you think there is a disconnect between your child and food then consider bringing them into the kitchen while you prepare food. Most children absolutely love helping out with cooking tasks, cracking eggs or stirring sauce. Encourage them to help where it’s safe and practical to do so and you might find they’re more willing to eat something they’ve helped with. Being involved at this stage might stimulate their appetite enough to try something new as well!
- Having fussy eaters means that little tums get hungry at awkward times, especially if they’re not eating much at the dinner table. Don’t be tempted to rely on snacks like crisps and biscuits to tide them over but be prepared with a variety of quick ‘go to’ snacks like small cut-up chunks of fresh fruit. Keep salty and sugary snacks out of their reach but maybe store the fruit on a lower fridge shelf so they can be encouraged to help themselves.
- If your family only wants to eat junk food then consider making your own healthier versions of their favourite fast foods. Making lean burgers is simple, bake a homemade pizza with healthy toppings and coat fish in flour, eggs and mashed up cornflakes to make your own delicious fishfingers. Children love making pizza and placing on their own toppings so try this instead of ordering one in for a change.
- Sometimes food just needs to look attractive too. Why not put ingredients into different bowls and let them build their own wraps? Or you could cook their meal in a separate mini dish that belongs to just them. Thread fruit onto straws or make funny faces with their food. Be creative but don’t get frustrated.