Fussy eaters- I’m far from an expert on the topic, because I hazard to say that I don’t have fussy eaters. Generally I follow a no BS strategy to eating with my kids: You eat what you’re given or there’s nothing else. They are also given a wide range of foods; we cook and adapt dishes from our home countries- Netherlands, Hungary and England, as well as dipping into favourites from the Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. I avoid cooking very hot, but do add a wide variety of spices to our foods. Most of our meals will have at least one vegetable… and no I’m not counting potatoes as veg!
Yesterday, I volunteered to help a friend and look after her two lovely daughters while she needed to go into work – 18 month old Missy B, who eats superbly and Missy A who’s the same age as my Little Man, 4. Missy A has never liked eating, eats slowly and has particular tastes. Her mum reckons it stems from having had silent reflux as a baby and associating eating with pain and discomfort. They are gradually working through this.
My pasta with beans and sausages in a tomato sauce didn’t win Missy A over, she tried it, but lost interest quickly. I think it was more of a unfamiliarity and not quite to the palate taste (just not as good as her mum makes.) I was concerned that if she didn’t eat, she’d get fractious and with 4 children to look after that was not an appealing prospect. I also didn’t want to set a bad example either in front of Little Man and show if you don’t “like” what’s in front of you then you can get something different.
Racking my brain on how to get myself out of the corner of principles versus practicality I remembered an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, (it was actually the only one that I have seen, as I found it so annoying that despite the good educational content in the show I never introduced it to my kids.)
So we decided there was a party in all the tummies around the table too and the beans, pasta, tomatoes and twisty pastas were all waiting to go. They were queuing to go to the party in Missy A’s tummy too. We counted as each pasta, bean, tomato and sausage joined the party. (Practicing counting while eating…fab two birds, one stone tactic!!!)
There were lots of giggles! Especially when the pastas entered the doorway to the party and there was a faint “yippee!” to be heard.
As the enthusiasm to join the party wavered, some raisins joined the queue. They were very sad that it was going so slowly, but rejoiced with squeals once the queue moved faster and down they went to Missy A’s tummy to join the party.
Do you have a fussy eater for some reason or other? How do you tackle it day to day?