Every time I go onto a forum about picky eating I see a dozen posts that go something like this "my son is a really picky eater, what can I give him for breakfast?" "My daughter has stopped eating at school, what snacks can I send?"
I appreciate that as parents of fussy eaters we are often feeling really desperate. We want answers and we want them now. A first thought is often - what is that food that will magically get our child eating?
When I see these questions I always think 2 things:
I had a lovely chat yesterday to a mum who had bought our book, Creating Confident Eaters.
She told me that she hadn't realised just how rigid her 10 year old son's approach was to food until she tried to change it.
She also hadn't appreciated how much she had bent to fit his preferences.
It is moments like these that are often light bulb moments, when we realise that often our children's habits around food are ours, or ours theirs.
When I saw this earlier today I thought how true this is in the fussy eating realm.
I speak to parents daily who desperately want food to be easy. For there not to be struggles over what to eat or whether there will OK choices at a restaurant.
But, they are understandably, really nervous about tackling what seems like an insurmountable problem. The words I hear all the time in relation to their children are "stubborn", "so determined", "refuses to even try anything".
Moving forwards seems impossible and we wonder whether we have the energy to take it on. I totally get it. Many of us, me included, have so many plates spinning that bringing in a new one or even moving the others seems like a recipe for disaster.
I am sooo delighted!
I asked Childspace (ECE educators) to review Creating Confident Eaters and this is what they have to say!
Excerpt from this month's The Space magazine and re-posted with kind permission of the editor.
Karina has captured the ethos of the book perfectly. I am so impressed at how much time was obviously spent really getting a firm understanding of the guide and what it provides.
I was delighted to receive this from the mum of a pretty selective "tween."
Mum bought the guide Creating Confident Eaters to see if she could utilise it to make progress with her daughter.
There are a lot of other challenges for the family so making time to work specifically on the picky eating is not easy. Ella * is 10 and and doesn't eat fruit and veg and is bothered by smells and textures. She has also not added any new foods for a long time.
Last night I had a great time running a workshop and getting to meet some lovely parents.
We spent an hour discovering how we can better manage picky eating struggles at home and even how to get the children trying new foods!
I spoke to a mum recently, who told me that she started stressing about what her son was going to have for dinner from the moment she woke up. This is such an uncomfortable way to live life!
We all have enough challenges without adding to the pile.
Will our child grow out of fussy eating? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But the better questions to ask are...
We have a full page spread in the local paper about the official launch of Creating Confident Eaters - THE guide for picky eaters.
Click on the link to forward to the correct article!
Photo credit - Brian Sheppard Photography
For those of you in the Wellington region I'll be running a special workshop on Thu 29th Aug.
Join me for a jam-packed hour focused on supporting our child to eat more confidently. We'll look at:
If you have children 2 - 12 who are struggling to eat variety this is for you.
If you have a toddler who is hitting that fussy phase or you'd like to know how to support them through it - this is for you.
Please feel free to share. Please register soon as the last workshop sold out.
Details on the flyer.
One of the biggest hurdles to moving forwards when we have a picky eater, is getting new foods tried and added to the menu.
We serve the same foods week in, week out and nothing we try outside of those seems to stick.
We can be one of the "lucky" parents where our child will actually try the foods before deeming them not acceptable. Or, we may be one of the families where no new foods should ever be considered!
One of the most commonly asked questions is how do we add foods to a child's menu. Especially the 99% of parents who I speak to who tell me that their child is so stubborn :)
This is not a simple answer to give, I'm afraid. If it could be distilled into 3 sentences I would be a gazzillionaire! Unfortunately, it's a whole combination of actions, strategies and approaches that over time make a difference.