Having our child feel confident around food, especially new food, is a dream for many parents. I know first-hand how much easier it makes everything from dinners to travel to social occasions to have children who embrace the unknown.
I speak to many parents whose wishes are really, really small. They would like their picky child to have 4 evening meals that they will eat comfortably or that they could happily eat 3 vegetables.
Although these seem like really small goals they may also not be the first step for our child. Meeting them where they are at rather than where we want them to be often yields better results.
If our child loves beige carbs then our first step may be another beige carb. If they are comfortable with a few fruits then perhaps it’s a slightly different fruit. Building the confidence that our child is able to eat something new, over time gives them the ability to eat more variety.
When I work with parents the end goal is usually family dinners and vegetables. But, this is rarely where we start. I use a swimming analogy. If our child is really scared of the water, although we may want them to be able to swim a length comfortably, we don’t start by putting them in the deep end and expecting them to get to the end of the pool.
Small, sometimes infinitesimally small steps are the best start - especially if we have a really hesitant eater.
Our new book, Creating Confident Eaters, shows parents how to do this. Even for the most anxious of fussy children there are strategies that are supportive.
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.