Fussy eating is pretty normal. All kids seem to go through it at one time or another. And whether they like something or they don’t can vary from day-to-day — talk about fickle! It’s not something you need to worry about. You just need to keep laying down the good habits and your kid will work through their fussy eating phase and come out of the other side with a healthy attitude towards food. Believe us, we’ve all been there.
Lead by example
You’ve got to be leading the charge on this one. If you’re not sitting there eating a plateful of healthy food, how can you expect your kid to follow suit? Rewrite the shopping list, showcase your skills across some new recipes, and introduce some more variety to your diet and your kid’s.
Make dinner more fun
Dinner isn’t just about eating; it’s about your family gathering together at the end of the day and catching up. Baby can babble along and get used to your dining routine. Let them watch you as you’re getting things ready; talk through the ingredients and what you’re doing. Yeah, we’re still waiting for our Saturday Kitchen call up too.
Serve it in a different way
So, they don’t like carrots. Don’t give up just yet. If you’ve tried sticks, how about mashing or grating them? It’s sneaky but often does the trick. Invest in a couple of cookie cutters. Heart-shaped cucumber pieces and star-shaped kiwi pieces are far tastier than regular chunks, didn’t you know?
Invite others to eat with you
They kick up a stink when it’s just you but behave very nicely in front of other adults. Yep, we’ve heard that one before. Invite someone round for dinner that your child likes, maybe a grandparent or close friend. Inviting another children round — one who has a good rep for eating dinner — can also help.
Never use food as a reward
We’re all probably guilty of this at some point but don’t make it a habit. The ‘if you eat dinner you’ll get dessert’ deal can indicate to them that dinner (the healthy bit) is bad and the sugary treats afterwards are good. That isn’t something you want to fall into. Agree to play their favourite game or promise an extra go on the slide instead.
Don’t immediately assume you’ve got a picky eater
Your kid might just be slow at eating and that’s a much better habit than gobbling it down, right? They might be too tired or too hungry to eat (yep, that’s a thing). Time dinner at the same time each night, so they know when to expect it and don’t eat too late. If your little terror is snacking throughout the day, this could be another reason they’re snubbing your food at dinnertime. Make two healthy snacks a day the limit.