We are our child's cheer squad. The ones who want to build them up, give them confidence and reward them when they do well.
When it comes to food though, some of these tactics can be unhelpful or even set our child back if they are a picky eaters. I know this comes as a shock to many parents as it seems counter-intuitive.
Let's take a look at why cheering, phoning grandma and dancing on tables may not be a positive:
1. Our child may need to feel very comfortable before being able to eat something new. If we are staring at them, willing them to try a food and then getting ready to cheer it can add a lot of pressure. They know what we want and it feels as though we're pushing them to do something that may be quite challenging.
2. Trying a new food can be easier at some times than others. If they manage a pea tonight and we dance and pop balloons we have set up an expectation. The next time that food appears they may not to be able to eat it. This can make our child feel that they have failed both themselves and you.
3. Eating a pea, for example, should not be difficult. If we clap and congratulate them then we are in effect saying "that was really hard". We want to normalise eating regular foods.
This isn't to say that we can't acknowledge that they HAVE done something that for them is difficult. Acknowledge though, not dancing on tables.
What are your thoughts? Do you party when your child eats something new?
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.