One of the hardest things to do when we feel we’re failing at something, like getting our picky eater to eat, is to do more.
This is even more true when we feel like it’s groundhog day. We’ve done this, we’ve tried that and none of it works.
What’s the point of wasting more food?
There are many times when I’m debating an issue with my teen or tween and start to wonder who is actually in charge!! We have raised these fabulous children full of independent thoughts, intelligence and the ability to analyse and argue a point. Then they take those skills and turn them on us 😊
When we have a child that is a picky eater and especially when they are little, in age or weight or stature, this can become an area where we gradually start to give over control. It often happens without us even realising it and is always done with the best of intentions.
Anyone who follows me knows I love a good analogy. One of my favourites is to explain how we treat reading and feeding so differently and yet there are a lot of parallels.
How can we use reading to teach us feeding?
1. The way we relate around reading. When we talk about our child in this context it’s always positive. We don’t doubt our child will learn to read and we pump them full of positives about it. When speaking to others, if there were issues, we wouldn’t talk about them in front of our child as we wouldn’t want to crush their confidence.
I think we all have days when we’re more tired than usual, or the wheels have fallen off. I certainly have more or less energy from day to day.
On the days when I am a little flatter, busier, stressed or just a bit over everything 😉 I’m working on being kind to myself. This does not come naturally as I’m a terminal overachiever with a puritanical streak thrown in.
I feel like a failure if I’m not “doing my best” and not working as hard as is feasible makes me feel lazy.
Neither of these are true but re-wiring a lot of years of thinking is tough.
This is of course not the advice I give you 😊 So:
None of us likes to be in the spotlight when we are not good at something. In fact, many of us shun the spotlight regardless.
When it comes to eating, parents can develop patterns that are well intentioned, but inadvertently work against us.
Often feeding a baby we sit opposite and make lovely faces and interact as we begin to spoon mush into their mouths.
We’re all looking forward to Christmas, aren’t we? Or are we?
Often Christmas with a picky eater can be stressful. Especially if we’re celebrating with friends and relatives where even well-meaning family can inadvertently add enormous pressure onto us, and our children. As much as we want to enjoy the holiday, worry about food often clouds even the sunniest of destinations.
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.
Both my sons have birthdays in Dec. Someone didn’t plan that awfully well 😉
My youngest asked whether he could invite 5 friends over for a sleepover and host it earlier, before the madness of the end of term etc. I agreed so Saturday we had 7 boys at our place.
They went out in the afternoon, so I prepared a light afternoon tea to tide them over until dinner.
I'm so excited about doing this. I love sharing my knowledge!
Today I'll share a story with a sort of moral as that seems fitting :)
Last week I was bored with the normal cooked veg for dinner. I also have a rule where I push myself to try one new food thing a week. Whether it’s a new recipe or a different way of cooking or a food we haven’t tried before. Sometimes it’s just adding something or mixing and matching two unusual foods.
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.