Ahhhhhh, final term of this decade ... I feel like my life is whizzing by at ever increasing speeds.
The best Christmas present ever for the parent of a fussy eater is to resolve mealtime battles. To have a child happily eat what we put in front of them and not have to stress, worry or get frustrated at every turn.
As a picky eating expert, who works with over 100 families a year, I have two suggestions:
I had a fabulous e-mail from a family I’ve worked with. They have a 4 ½ year old son, Sam* who is a picky eater and does not like change or new foods at all.
We were talking about introducing pastry and so mum had both her young boys making pastry snakes.
Sam was really hesitant about eating the snake, so mum put jam into a syringe and they squirted “snake blood” over the pastry.
- our son asks for something & then won't eat it
- my daughter likes a food & then refuses to eat it the next day
- we always have the same nuggets but all of a sudden my son says they are different & won't eat them
- I cooked my daughter's favourite meal & she said it looked yuck
There are a tonne of variations on this but these are the sort of things I hear from parents of picky eaters all the time. I know this causes both frustration & confusion. It also makes buying, preparing & serving foods a nightmare.
I had a lovely conversation with a young mum in Adelaide, South Australia last week.
She had been gifted the book (it is a great present :) ), Creating Confident Eaters and has been working through some of the strategies.
Lola, 4 has never been a great eater and Teddy, 2 is not as competent as mum would like.
I spoke to a mum last night who told me she felt like she was drowning. Every day she struggled through meals for her son who was a really fussy eater.
He was really rigid in his approach to food and everything had to be done in exactly the "right" way.
Mum was exhausted by it and finding it hard to believe there was a way out of the hole she was in.
The world's best picky eater-proof downloadable from Pinterest is probably not going to get your child eating. Not least because what rocks for one child is not necessarily a win for another.
On the other hand there are ways we can make foods more enticing for our children and if we can do that why not?
My latest breakfast creation, which is a huge hit with my teen is choc yoghurt. I know this is a firm favourite with quite a few fussy children, but my version is not like the store bought :( Although that is something I can do!
It's the first day of school holidays and I'm feeling quite flat and tired. It's been a mad 2 months with lots of late nights and weekend work.
Although it's "holidays" that's not what ends up happening for many parents. Yes, the kids are no longer in their routines, but we're still stuck in ours :)
My boys are getting older now. This makes many things a whole lot easier. They are more independent, can do most things for themselves and are less likely to need me to entertain them.
More and more I am realising (and as usual we don’t know what we don’t know) that even the most intuitive, connected and well-researched parents of picky eaters are missing critical messages from their child when it comes to steps forward in a food sphere.
Last night I was working with a lovely, young couple who have an almost 4 year old, Barrett *. He is like many children from the families I work with. He loves carbs, he doesn’t like meat except in a special pasta sauce and he eats no fruit or veg. He does drink orange and apple juice on occasion though.
Yesterday as my husband and I were nagging my youngest (for the 17th million time) about how he would have to tidy his bomb-site of a room he said ... "maybe I'm just a messy person".
Telling ourselves these things can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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.