This is a really interesting question and one that I get asked all the time. Many people of *cough* my generation claim that there really weren’t any when we grew up as it was "eat or starve".
I know for a fact that isn’t true. I speak to many parents who tell me that they were incredibly fussy as a child, or had a sibling that was. There are a host of stories of Vegemite sandwiches for dinner or a diet of cornflakes and milk.
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.
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.
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.
A lovely lady in one of my business groups donates a birthday cake every week to one of the families in need through the charity He Korowai Whakapono.
I have been wondering what I could do (cakes are not my thing!!) and as it turns out, the solution was very simple. A basket of basics each week.
Every weekend I'll be putting together a basket from The Confident Eater and so wanted to say thank you to everyone who has worked with me or bought a book. That makes this possible on an ongoing basis :)
If we want to make changes to how our child eats I always recommend school holidays as a good time:
- less overwhelm. Our child has less additional stuff going on.
We all have habits around food. Whether it be a favourite mug for the coffee or eating the veggies first. When we analyse our behaviour, there are often a host of things that we prefer to do a certain way.
If we have a child who is a picky eater then they are also building habits. Some of these may lead to eating less variety.
Like us, the longer they do something for, the more ingrained it becomes and the more challenging to change.