Studies show that children are drawn to bright colours. This is a good thing 😊 as a lot of the things we’d love them to eat are not beige!
The more interested we are in food, the more likely we are to eat it. Working on this principal, how can we up the ante on the food we present, without designing a full Frozen/Star Wars themed buffet at every meal?
1. Use different plates. If this is challenging for a picky child as they have their routines and small changes upset them, then don’t mealtime ambush. Perhaps you can shop for an ostentatious plate in an Op shop. Or a special plate with a favourite character on it.
2. Have a new way of serving:
a) In a muffin tin, with a different food in each hole
b) Chinese take-away cardboard boxes
c) On a doily
d) In a jar/cup/bowl/tin – something unexpected
e) The back of a truck or the scoop on a digger / barbie’s suitcase?
f) Cup cake cases (say that 5 times quickly)
3. Change utensils:
a) Use giant serving forks or spoons or spatulas
b) A long-handled spoon
c) Straws/cocktail sticks/skewers
4. Offer a dip or a sauce. Think outside of the square if we have a child that doesn’t like traditional dips. Softened peanut butter? Honey? Jam? Melted chocolate?
5. Cut/shape foods differently. There are lots of ways we can make a food look different and appealing:
a) Fruit or veg cut into flowers
b) Sandwiches into a favourite shape or animal using a cookie cutter
c) Creating mini versions. Mini burgers, mini hot dogs, mini muffins
6. Add something appealing:
a) Add peanut butter/cheese/raisins/sprinkles to fruit
b) Dip fruit in chocolate/yoghurt/ice cream
c) Make vegetable “sandwiches” carrot+cheese or peanut butter, for example
d) Butter/cheese/garlic added to vegetables
The list goes on, but thinking outside of the square can often yield surprising results. A word of caution though, it’s really important to set expectations low. Don’t expect a miracle and then you won’t be disappointed.
Approach this from the point of view of being something fun and light.
If it works great, if it doesn’t there is minimal time/effort expended.
This ensures we don’t inadvertently add pressure and make this into a challenge not fun for our 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.