What if I am a fussy eater? Will my child be one?

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Message from my sister:

This year I realised that my picky eating habits have impacted on my eldest child, not wanting the same to happen to my youngest I decided that change must happen. I want to feed my kids fresh food instead of oven, shop bought and processed food. My goal was to try one new dish a week from my sister’s website (www.lowflyingbananas.co.uk) and slowly introduce better healthier foods for my children. But when my sister suggested fishcakes, my heart sank. I hate fish! I knew this was going to be a tough challenge.

But determined to change our eating habits I was going to give it a go.

I did however make the mistake of using tuna (if you’re not big fish lover cooked tuna isn’t a good idea.) I thought tuna would be great. Easy to get out of the tin and a much meatier fish. But after cooking the fishcakes the smell made me gag and my reaction to them had a knock on effect on my eldest child. After watching them start to eat, they seemed to enjoy them but when my four year old noticed I’d only had a fork full he suddenly had a change of heart and claimed he didn’t like it. We all know how often kids will change their minds, my son has a new different best friend every week, but in the middle of his tea is very frustrating.

So not the best start to eating better but we will try again with meatballs and see how they go down.

Tips for fussy eaters

  • Stay calm and do not force feed them. It will only upset you and give them a fear of meal time.
  • Eat good foods together sitting down at a table. This creates a good routine and allows them to see you eating well. Children have an urge to copy so they will naturally follow your lead.
  • Give your child one thing you know they will eat with each meal.
  • Only give one new food at a time and do not hide it. It may take your child 5-10 times before they will start eating a new foods. Tastes change over time.
  • When introducing a new food only put a small amount on the plate to try so they do not become overwhelmed.
  • Use positive language and praise your child when they do something right. Possibly use a star chart for each new food tried.
  • Eat without distractions. Do not eat in front of the television or with pets running around.
  • Give yourself a time limit. Most children will not eat for more than 20minutes.
  • Give small portions so your child can finish their meal. Offer more if they finish it.
  • Never take a meal away and offer a different one. If the meal is uneaten then finish and offer a nutritious snack before the next meal.
  • Don’t try to feed your child if they are tired.

Helpful websites

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x552305/why-is-my-toddler-such-a-fussy-eater

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1008600/how-to-cope-with-feeding-a-fussy-toddler

http://www.netmums.com/family-food/food-for-kids/dealing-with-fussy-eaters/top-tips-for-fussy-eaters

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/fussy-eaters.aspx

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