By: Jolene Cox – One Yummy Mummy Blog
“How do I get my fussy eater to eat?” is one of the top questions I am asked. We all go through picky food days. But when it’s day after day, problems can set in and it can get so frustrating for parent and child. Picky eating can be worrying. It can affect children’s behavior, sleep and mood. If it’s something that has started after a tummy bug. The bug could be lingering around. Give the child time to get better. If you’re unsure always check with your GP. But when everything else looks fine and you feel you have tried everything else. Wipe the slate clean and try out my ten tips
1. SET MEALS,
Try to have set meal times. Have 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Avoid grazing throughout the day.
2. NO TELLY,
Turn off distractions and parents put away your phone at meal times. Do a countdown before meal times.. eg dinner is going to be in 10 mins so the child knows what’s coming next.
3. FAMILY TIME,
Try to sit down as a family as often as you can (I know it’s not possible all the time) but when you can do it, it’s worth it, with everyone eating the same meal.
Don’t rush meal times, it needs to be enjoyable for the child (Imaging having your morning coffee, in a coffee shop and the waitress saying to you, come on hurry up,) not a very enjoyable experience eh…. Also expect mealtimes to last round 25 minutes or so. Don,t drag it out.
But don’t reward with sugary treats, reward with a game or a trip to the park.
6. LIMIT JUICE,
Try not to let the child fill up on juice or milk throughout the day. Milk is meant to be enjoyed with a meal, not be the meal. Ideally a toddler should drink around 2 cups of milk a day (a 2 year old). Offer water instead of juice.
7. NO FUSS
Try not to make a fuss (one fussy person at the table is enough) stay calm, but be “a matter of fact about it” yes we eat our dinner to give us energy and to help us grow.
Try not to use phrases like ”you don’t leave the table until you’re finished”. Try phrases like, good boy/girl stay at the table you’re doing a great job.
Offer small portions and a varied diet. Avoid plain pasta, noodles or potatoes, put the full meal on the plate. Introduce new flavours all the time.There are some food kids just don’t have a taste for, accept that, don’t force them and encourage all the time.
Get the kids involved and make the food tasty (if you wouldn’t eat it yourself don’t serve it to your kids). Pick out recipes together and cook (they are not guaranteed to eat it but they will give it a shot. It will be good bonding time if nothing else).
Keep calm, don’t give up! tomorrow is another day.
Award winning One Yummy Mummy is a wholesome approach to healthy food on a budget. Founder Jolene describes herself as a “feeder” in the nicest possible way. Sharing family recipes, and a down to earth parenting approach.