When I am working with parents, I often ask them to tell me some of the meals they cook for their family. When it comes to parents of a child who is selective or fussy, they will usually have a small list of meals. I will ask them to think about increasing the variety of meals and add some new meals to the menu. I might suggest a few meals that aren’t on their list. Quite a few of them will respond with “Oh, she (their child) won’t eat that” or ‘He doesn’t like that.” Don’t you get sick of eating the same few meals over and over again?, I ask. “Yes, but it is easier than cooking a meal, knowing that my child won’t touch it”.
Here is my advice to parents in this situation:
- Cook what you like to eat and add to that. Add at least one food on the table that you know your child will eat if they are hungry. For example, bread, pasta, milk or rice.
- Some children need to be offered certain foods many times before they will even touch, let alone eat them. How is your child going to learn to try new foods unless she/he is offered them many times ?
- Children need to learn to eat what their parents eat rather than the other way round. Many parents feel relieved when they are given permission to cook the meals that they like to eat.
- Put the food in the middle of the table so that your child has a choice as to whether to put it on their plate or not. That way you won’t waste food, there won’t be dramas and your child will feel that they have control over what they eat. Of course, you have control over what is put on the table.
To learn more about feeding your fussy eater, join our webinar on Wednesday 19th February at 8.00pm. For more information, click here.