People often say your first child lulls you into a false sense of security. It’s also been said that your second is entirely different to your first. This was most definitely the case with Mia and Theo. He is a fully fledged member of the fussy eaters club and I struggle to get good healthy food into him every single day.
From weaning on wards Mia ate pretty much anything and to this day would choose fruit over crisps. Theo however has always been a bit of a nightmare when it comes to food. I think a lot of his food aversions come from his recently outgrown allergies.
Today I’m sharing my 5 simple tips for parents of fussy eaters – I hope you find them helpful!
- First of all, don’t stress. I know it’s easier said than done, but stressing will only make the situation worse. It’s a well known fact that children can sense how we feel, as parents it is only natural to worry but if our children sense that we feel negatively, this will add to their negative attitude towards food.
- Experiment with accepted foods. Your list of accepted foods may be small, but with a little bit of experimentation you may discover different meals and snacks that your child will eat. Some great examples are sweetcorn fritters and hidden veg sauce.
- Keep food separate on the plate. Separating food works really well for Theo. He’s not a fan of sauces, so I always put baked beans in a ramekin so that the sauce doesn’t touch the rest of his meal. When he was younger I used melamine plates which had four sections to keep every element of his meal separate.
- Be realistic with your child. This may sound a little harsh, but in our case it has really helped. When Theo’s fussy eating was at its worst I explained how food helps our bodies in a way he could understand. By doing this he was aware of how not eating the right things could affect his body. Now when he refuses a meal or snack I gently remind him about needing strong bones and usually he relents.
- Change your wording. Sometimes all it takes is a little re-branding. Theo refers to lasagne/cottage pie/spaghetti bolognese as ‘tiny worms’ due to the appearance of the mince. If I say ‘lasagne for dinner!’ he refuses to eat but when I say ‘we’re having tiny worms’ he counts down the hours until dinner-time!
What works for one may not work for all but when it comes to fussy eaters, anything is worth a try! Fussy eating is normal for us now, but I hope that one day Theo becomes more relaxed about food. I’d love him to enjoy the same things as his sister.
If you have any tried and tested methods for dealing with a fussy eater please feel free to leave a comment and share your wisdom. Make sure you check out Eats Amazing for meal inspiration and fantastic products such as fun sandwich cutters, cutlery and moulds.