Since starting out with eco rascals™ venture, I follow a lot of Mummy food bloggers. I love to watch their Instagram feeds and read their blogs for inspiration, but I also spend a lot time feeling rather inadequate. Not only is the food that they lovingly prepare for their little ones organic, creative, colourful and nutritious but their children genuinely seem to enjoy eating it.
I wouldn’t go as far to say my children are ‘fussy’ eaters. In fact, they seem to like things I remember teaching myself to like as an adult - pickled onions, gherkins, olives, beetroot, smoked salmon to name just a few.
However, frustratingly, they don’t seem to enjoy any of the staple meals that I used to get given as a child. Homemade lasagna, pizza, chicken casserole, cauliflower cheese, and even quiche all get a head turn.. Yet they like the individual ingredients which make up those dishes.
Like most parents, what my children eat (or don’t eat) is a constant worry for me but I’m beginning to learn a few valuable lessons:
- My children are much more interested in what I’m eating than what they’re given. If I want them to eat something new or something they usually won’t eat, I make sure I sit with them and eat a small portion at the same time.
- Children won’t voluntarily starve themselves.
- My children are worse sleepers than eaters and the few times they did sleep through the whole night, it wasn’t because they ate a huge amount of food for supper, so I try not to get too hung up on the food = sleep association.
- Everything tastes better when cut into shapes! I know it’s a pain, but it really works wonders over here.
- Section plates are crucial! My children love seeing their food in the different partitions and being given the freedom to eat their food at their own pace.
- Other than what colour silicone base they can choose for their plate or bowl; my children do not get a choice at key mealtimes. I feel the few times I’ve allowed them to pick, I’ve overwhelmed them and turned the mealtime into a disaster. I save choosing for special occasions such as picking which flavor ice cream they have at the weekend.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Little taste buds constantly evolve, and you don’t want your little ones thinking they rule the menu!
- Serve meals at the same time and in a similar environment each day.
- Do not introduce TV or phones as a distraction technique. Mealtimes will become the best time for a family to connect and interact with one another and are a great opportunity to instill good eating habits and general table manners.
- My all-time favourite way to encourage my children to eat well is to get them involved in the preparation of meals - little people make great fruit and veg washers and salad mixers. They are also fabulous at plating up food!
We love hearing from our readers and customers – how do you combat the fussy eating stage? Are you a fussy eater yourself? Leave your comments below!