Mealtimes can become battlegrounds and most of us probably have some bad memories of having to eat food which we didn’t ‘like’. Some parents worry constantly about their child’s eating habits and overcoming their ‘fussiness’ can take a lot of patience and sometimes, many years.
Some Things which may help
- Let your child see you eating and trying a variety of foods
- Invite your child to prepare a snack or a meal with you – they may be more interested to try something they have made themselves. Also they may snack on the vegetables raw as you are preparing them, which is good for them.
- Try to establish a good eating routine and good mealtime experiences.
- Present food attractively. Colour variety is good. Try sometimes when you are preparing a meal to give your child a choice in some things so they feel that have some power over their eating.
- Rather than spoon-feeding your fussy eater, allow them, in spite of the mess, to feed themselves.
- Try to provide food from the core food groups. If your child rejects cheese, for example, they might like yoghurt.
- Start with small food portions. Three small meals with snacks should be sufficient for most children.
- Remember that breakfast is the most important meal so try to find a nutritious food that your child likes to eat for breakfast. Often after sleeping, they will be ready to eat.
- Think of interesting ways to present food. This idea is from parent.com and although not suitable for children with nut allergies demonstrates a novel way to present a well-known fruit.
Packed with fibre and heart-healthy potassium, these one-bite treats lend themselves to tasty customization.
Start with a peeled banana. Trim one end so that it’s flat, and set the banana upright on the cut. Use a butter knife to apply a coating of all-natural (sugar-free) nut butter, then roll the fruit in a healthy topping. Shown here: chia seeds; unsweetened, shredded coconut; crushed pretzels; and chopped walnuts. Cut into 3/4-inch slices and serve.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre, our cook is qualified in providing nutritious meals and snacks, catering for children with allergies as well as the fussy eaters.