Ever since weaning age, Keira has always proved herself to be challenging when it comes to food but I wasn’t aware just how fussy she was going to be. From around 11 months old she had already made me aware of what she liked and disliked, or maybe it was just what she wanted to eat and what she didn’t.
I have always been able to count on one hand the foods that she would eat, yep there really wasn’t many, and it was such a stress getting her to eat something new or something that she “didn’t like”. Meal times were so stressful and most of the time they ended up in tears, I never thought that trying to get your child to eat could be so draining!
As Keira got older I realised that it was easier just to give her the foods she would eat, it was much better than fighting over her eating something different. It made meal times enjoyable again and there was no more tears!
So I’ve decided to share with you my top 5 tips to help you deal with a fussy eater.
1. Don’t force them to eat something. It won’t work. Kids are clever, more clever than we think. If they don’t want to eat it, they won’t. If they aren’t going to eat what you have given then that’s okay, it isn’t the end of the world.
2. Don’t stress. If they aren’t eating their dinners then don’t panic, they won’t starve themselves and 9 times out of 10 they’ll end up picking off your dinner (and you let them just so they’ve eaten something).
3. Give them the foods they like, as well as something new on their plate. I do this all the time with Keira and she never touches the new food, she’ll even tell me that she doesn’t like whatever it is I’ve put there, but at least she’ll be getting used to it.
4. Lots of praise (and maybe a little treat). When they have eaten something new, or something they didn’t like previously, lots of praise goes a long way! Keira loves being praised so it works really well for her and she knows that if she at least tries something new that she’ll get a little reward.
5. Let they help to make dinner. I’ve found that Keira is much more willing to try something when she has helped make it, especially when it comes to desserts (yes she’s fussy about everything, cake won’t touch her lips!).
I honestly believe that they grow out of fussy eating, since starting nursery Keira has eaten foods she would never have eaten at home. So maybe being at nursery and seeing the other children eat is helping her. She isn’t behind on anything development wise and her eating habits haven’t affected her weight and that’s when I realised that she’s still thriving even if she does have a limited taste in food!
Have you dealt with a fussy eater? What helps you at meal times?