For many years I fought the same battle day in day out………. the battle of the fussy eater! Now I’m no Master Chef but I can cook, in fact I love to cook and think I do a pretty good job, so why was it meal after meal, lunchbox after lunchbox, my food was just boomeranging with a nibble taken out here and there or even worse completely untouched!
Each meal time I would try the usual toolbox of trick; begging (“please eat something”, “com’on just take one bite for mummy”), bribing (“eat this and you can have a Freddo Frog”) and scare tactics (we’ve all been at that level of desperation) to try and get my little man to eat something, anything! with very little success.
In the end I just gave up and ended up dishing up plate after plate of yellow (potato gems, chicken nuggets, chips etc.) with not a veggie in sight. This was to be a temporary solution “I’ll just feed him this tonight as he needs to eat something” but alas it became ‘the norm’.
My son went a whole year with only having a Milo each morning for breakfast as we have never been able to get him to eat cereal and one day out of the blue for no apparent reason he refused to eat bread/toast, I was desperate to do something about how out of control mealtimes had become this when I found a product called The Lunch Punch (a sandwich cutter that removes the crust and leaves you with a cute shaped sandwich) and wow for the first time in a year he ate 2 pieces of toast for breakfast and we haven’t looked back. I have even started a business around helping other people fight the battle of the fussy eater and its all around making food fun for kids you can check us out here
It’s been about a year now and my son has gone from an over processed diet of yellow to a diet filled with healthier homemade foods and I’m super keen to share with anyone who will listen what tips and tricks have helped us make this complete diet 180o:
- Find out what your child’s issues with different types of food are and look at ways you can address these issues. Sometimes it has nothing to do with taste, ever noticed how say “I don’t like that” when they haven’t even tried it? For example your child may not want to touch a certain food as they might get sticky/dirty fingers how could you present it so they don’t need to actually touch the food to eat it?
- Presentation is very important; it’s all about marketing the food to your child so they will want to eat it. What appeals to us visually is completely different to what appeals to a child, think fun shapes, small manageable portions, bright colours etc this can make meal times less daunting for your little one.
- Relax! The more anxious you get about the whole ‘will he won’t he’ eat it side of things the more your kids pick up on it and this can lead to a very tense mealtime.
- Involve your kids in the cooking process where you can, kids love to help and they are more likely to eat something they have had a hand in making (or elbow lol), cooking is a lifelong skill and it’s great to get your kids started on this one from a young age.
- And last but certainly by no means least keep at it, keep trying and don’t give up, what your child won’t eat today they might try tomorrow and what they will try today they might actually eat tomorrow. My son has autism so for us this hasn’t solved all of our issue around food but when your child has such bad habits changing them really is a journey rather than a destination and perseverance is the key!
Finally I just wanted to add we all have our issues with food and bad habits do last a life time, I am speaking from personal experience, my issues with food have followed me from childhood though to adulthood and this is defiantly one thing I do not want to pass down to my kids, what about you?
You can find more lunchbox inspiration and products at www.neat2eat.com.au
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