- 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.
If you have a toddler then they are often on a roller-coaster of emotions & finding their place in the world. It's normal & natural for them to seek independence by making decisions (that are not always logical).
Even so, much of the flip-flopping when it comes to food decisions is based around basic eating confidence. The more comfortable they are around food, the less likely they are to reject things.
For older children it is mostly about that comfort level. A child who is confident will easily accept minor or even major changes and still be able to eat happily.
A child who is more anxious around food approaches it differently. They are looking for it to be predictable, to be as they are expecting, for everything to look/feel/smell/taste the way they'd like it to be. The more extreme the discomfort the more precise the food will need to be.
Our job as the parent is to build that food confidence. To support our child to become more resilient in their food approach. When we do this we start to avoid the "eat now, but not tomorrow" scenarios.
Building this confidence is multi-layered. I will talk in detail about how to do this on the webinar, 24th Oct.
Things we can work on now:
- give our child confidence by being confident ourselves
- building a comfort level around foods for our child
- ensuring our child is relaxed at the meal table
- showing small changes to enable them to accept change
- being very positive around food & ensuring everyone else does the same
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.