Most parents assume, or at least hope, that their children will grow up eating a healthy and balanced diet and enjoying a wide range of flavors.
Perhaps you spent weeks researching the benefits of baby-led weaning or spent hours trawling over recipes that you thought your little one would love.
As babies, your children may have eaten a wide range of different tastes and textures but, as they get a bit older, that can all be turned on its head. Before you know it, meal times have become a bit of a battle, and you are becoming more anxious and concerned.
Thankfully there are some things you can do to make it easier. Here are 3 things to do when your children are fussy eaters.
Many dieticians say that some children have to eat something ten times before they become accustomed to the taste, so it’s important to persevere.
While vegetables are not the most popular with kids in general, getting children to eat meat of any kind is also very common. Chicken can be easier for a child to chew than beef and, not only is it a great source of protein, but it’s also an extremely versatile ingredient. Many stores use chicken meat by EU poultry who supply a wide range of pre-cuts, making it far easier for you to create a variety of different meals. Whether you make chicken nuggets or let the kids forego using cutlery and have a plate of drumsticks, the important thing is to keep trying.
If needs be, give them foods you know they will eat and add something new on the side during every meal. Don’t force them to eat it all, but tell them they must, at least, try each new thing.
Get the kids involved
Getting kids more involved with food preparation can make a difference to the way they react towards it and may make them more inclined to eat a wider range of foods.
Making healthy pizzas is a perfect way to get them to join in. If age-appropriate, get them to help you slice up lots of different foods such as cheese, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc. Buy or make pizza bases and then let them choose what they want to put on their pizza. Make faces with the toppings or suggest you taste them all as you create.
Have fun with it and they will feel more relaxed and (hopefully) more eager to try.
When your children refuse to eat, it can be very stressful and extremely upsetting, particularly if it’s been going on for a while. Try not to let it get to you as the more stressed you are, the more kids pick up on it. It can make a child feel even more anxious if they sense you are annoyed or wound up about it, so take a few deep breaths and try to focus.
It’s important to remember that your children are not going to starve and, as time goes on, the list of things they will eat will grow. They won’t be fussy forever.