hen it comes to picky eating there is a whole list of factors that can impact on how well a child eats. Everything from sensitivities to constipation can influence eating competence.
If our child is naturally going to find eating more challenging than their peers - and this does seem to be the case for many children - what are we to do as parents?
We can really impact how our child develops in relation to food. Even if they are starting with a very limited base we are still able to support them to add variety.
We can also - with a lot of love and best intentions - inadvertently make things worse. This is an awful feeling, knowing that we may be a part of the problem. Although noticing and acknowledging this also means we then become empowered to be part of the solution.
How do we know whether we are making things worse?
1. Mealtimes are a battle. No one wants to eat when they are upset, angry or arguing. The more relaxed our child is the more likely they are to eat.
2. We are begging/cajoling or bribing our child around food. It's important that our children learn to make decisions for themselves around food (we as parents set tight limits around the choices). Putting ourselves in the middle the whole time produces an unnatural focus.
3. Our child is becoming more anxious/restrictive around food. If our child is dropping foods or becoming more specific about choices/preparation etc.they are becoming less confident. It's our responsibility to support them to build their confidence.
If you'd like support with any (or all of these) please get in touch. We specialise in giving parents a really simple plan that enables them to get the language, structure and approach to food in place to support their child.
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.