“I’m not eating that!”
Who’s hungry? It’s time to eat! How do you find mealtimes in your family? We all know a fussy eater and the struggle and frustration are very real. Do you have a little one who’ll only plump for chicken goujons no matter what? Or just has to have everything plain, no sauces? We hear you! You’re at the end of your tether, you’ve pleaded, you’ve begged them, you’ve even bargained with them for toys and treats, to no avail! We wholeheartedly sympathise with you, your efforts have been futile, but we can help!
It’s all about aesthetics!
There are so many ways to make eating fun! Just by adding brightly coloured food, interesting textures and shapes to the plate! As the saying goes, you ‘eat with your eyes!’ There’s also a saying ‘eat a rainbow’ which means the dish must look pleasing to the eye with colours like a rainbow! We touched on this over on our earlier blog, about how to make healthy snacks fun. It’s worth checking out, particularly if you’re stuck for ideas and you would like to introduce more healthy snacking into your child’s diet.
Say goodbye to boring fries!
Here’s a selection of ideas to get your kids to start eating. Say goodbye to one-dimensional mealtimes and hello to new foodie adventures! Are you ready?
So, you’ve got a hangry terror on your hands, hungry + angry = hangry! A rather fussy one at that. So here’s what to do. Why not make things fun by turning eating time into a game? Grab a new food that you want to introduce and then tell them to guess what it is, make it a process of elimination, give them little clues! If it’s a fruit or a veggie, this can be trickier, so pitch it to them! “Apples will make you grow up to be big and strong; carrots can help you see in the dark and broccoli is full of calcium which gives you strong bones!” Show them the benefits in a fun and easy way!
Keep your cool…
We know that you’re frustrated, but stay cool parents! Don’t let your little ones see that you are frustrated, stay confident in your approach. When they’ve tasted a new food, or eaten something all up, praise them! They’ll feel good with the praise and it will encourage them to work on trying other foods! Try to focus on their good behaviour rather than criticise the bad, celebrate their milestone. It will make the whole experience a much more pleasurable one for everyone!
Big rewards for little stars!
How about making it a rewards system? Create a meal chart, which you can put up in the kitchen. It could be stickers, or even with coloured pens on a wipe board. Make it bright and fun and colourful. Then what to do is give them a point on the chart every time your child hits a foodie milestone. This can be trying a new food they usually hate or finishing a full plate of something new. When the chart is full, give them a reward!
Get them in the kitchen!
Kids love helping in the kitchen, especially if it involves licking a spoon and a bowl of delicious icing! Yes, we know they can’t eat cakes every single day, hey, it is Great British Bake Off at the moment… When they are having fun in the kitchen, get them involved in cooking. The most simple dishes, get them to help you make a sauce, or crack an egg into a bowl, or shred some chicken strips perhaps! They’ll feel good and relaxed and more likely to be in the mood for trying something new! Make everything a game, turn it into a bit of role play, pretend you’re the chef and try silly accents, anything to make them laugh!
Try these tips today, we really hope you find them helpful!
If you’d like to share any stories or top tips about feeding your fussy little friends with us, we would love to hear from you!
Our next blog is about our favourite iconic children’s books, now they’re going back to school!
Big love until next time…