The Fussy Eater or The Player?
I’m a mum who has lost her mind countless times and I used to think I had an extremely picky eating toddler.
Mealtimes in our house were an awful experience. We ended up giving up every night and giving in so he would at least eat something. The comments from family members were driving me round the bend and I felt so guilty that I was doing something wrong. I would see other kids eating what he wasn’t eating and it was stressful and frustrating.
Every day, three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner we suffered on and on, it was a never-ending cycle of making food and throwing it away. It got to where I was so obsessed about him eating his food that I used to think there was no point in even bothering. As long as he got something inside him, let him eat cereal for dinner we thought.
We tried bargaining with “pudding” but when he heard the word pudding he just wanted the pudding, resulting in screaming and tantrums when no pudding was given.
We even tried disguising the food with his pudding, what were we thinking?Bolognaise and strawberry yoghurt is just disgusting.
We tried hiding the vegetables, he’s way too clever for that malarkey.
We tried the hard-line approach, resulting in more screaming and tantrums and a headache for all of us.
We tried cutting out all snacks.
We tried books, yes lots of books which helped a little.
We walked away and left him to it, until he started to shout over and over that he wanted to “get down, get down!” from his chair.
The Players Tactics
Starting nursery was a real game changer, we made a big discovery, the truth was really hard to believe.
The nursery staff started to tell us that he ate all his meals and asked for seconds and thirds. “Sardines on toast, ALL”, “Lamb and cous cous, ALL”, “Jacket potato and beans, ALL”, “Roast Dinner with vegetables, ALL” are you kidding me! Our ‘fussy eater’ is eating better than his own parents and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In the two days a week he goes to nursery he seems to eat an entire week’s worth of food. Not only that, but he’s telling us what he wants for dinner demanding “plain pasta” like he’s some kind of Little Lord Fauntleroy who now rules the roost!
So how did we make a difference at home and get him to start accepting the food we like to eat and try something different?
It’s probably obvious to everyone that has a ‘fussy eater’ but i’m going to share our experience. It seems that an averseness to try new food is a matter of perception, not just tastes. For example, language is the forefront of what kids perceive so we’ve started to rename some food at home so it is appealing to him. We call beetroot “red fruit which taste like sweets”, he loves beetroot. Broccoli is “little trees”, crackers are “biscuits” and we’ve how started to call bread “duck bread”. It seems he won’t even eat bread unless he knows it’s going to be fed to ducks at some point.
At nursery the kids help themselves and eat within a group. Food endorsement reinforces the belief that it must be okay if everyone else is eating it too. We only have the one child so we tell him that his cousin eats chicken curry and he will sometimes try it because he wants to be just like this cousin.
With some scepticism, our ‘fussy eating’ player is starting to try new food at home and that’s where #ThatFoodieFeeling comes into the mix.
#ThatFoodieFeeling is a food campaign with a focus on happier mealtimes and recipe inspiration for food and ideas whether your kids are fussy or not. Our call to action is to get parents to relax and stop losing their minds. We’ll investigate places to eat out with a #fussyeater and look at what’s on offer in the local #Beckenham and surrounding area and aim to get a list together of what we all call our food to get the kids to eat it. We aim to share useful tips we learn and discover along the way.
Perhaps you’re like me and were less reluctant to try out new food for an easy life? Perhaps you’re going through a similar stage with your child and they eat at nursery but not at home? Perhaps you never want to eat out with your kids again?
We can all relate to this on some level as it seems that more than half of parenting stress is getting your child to eat something…even when they would rather eat that mouldy crisp off the floor. We all share that common ground in trying to get kids to eat and try new food. So take a few minutes to show you relate to #ThatFoodieFeeling by tweeting, posting on Facebook or sharing an image on Instagram and include the hashtag #ThatFoodieFeeling. @mention (@feelfoodiekids) in the posts and I’ll share them too!
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