So you have a fussy eater on your hands . . .
Mealtimes often end in tears & you're starting to wonder how long your little one can actually survive on a daily diet of apples & biscuits alone! Bribery isn't working, sneaking veg into meals is a no go, (turns out your kid must be part bloodhound & sniffs that mischief out in 0.1 seconds,) mealtimes just tend to end in a stressful mess for everyone all around, sound like a familiar story?
So exactly what should you be doing to get your little one to eat their fruit and veg & how can you get them to eat a balanced diet without all the tea time trauma?
Do you remember as a child being told not to play with your food, well turns out experts reckon playing with food could be the best way for children to develop healthy eating habits from an early age! Professor Charles Spence says “Parents should let their children just play with their food and let them grow to like it, by allowing children to play with their food they will be more likely to try new foods and avoid food phobias.''
Look, touch, smell.
1. Simply let your child look, touch & smell the foods they don't like without them actually having to eat it, let them familiarize themselves with different foods & research suggests that the exposure to fruits & veg will lead to an increased chance of liking it!
Colour, variation, texture.
2. Make it look pleasing. Colours, variation, texture the more variegated, the better. Wouldn't you rather eat something that looked beautiful? A plate of food that looks visually pleasing is going to be more appealing to a toddler then the brown mush in a jar that states its Shepherds Pie!
Special, fun, exciting.
3. Let them have their own plate, cutlery, placemat that's special & fun, bringing fun to the table is a sure way for them to get excited about mealtimes & want to try new flavours. Better yet play on their independence & let them pick their own tableware, give them a choice (peas or carrots) kids are more likely to try new foods if they're involved in the decision-making process. Find some of our favourite eco-friendly tableware below that's sure to bring fun to the table . . .
Music, enhance, taste.
4. Have you heard, food psychologists have found that high-pitched music can enhance the enjoyment of eating by suppressing bitterness and enhancing taste for children. Guess we best all start learning how to play the pan pipes then!
Being playful won't get your little one to try everything on their plate but it will take the focus off the new foods you're trying to get your child to eat, it will also lighten the mood at mealtimes & help relieve the mealtime stress away & if it doesn't go perfectly remember it often takes between 10 to 15 times for a child to try a new food before they will totally accept it, so be patient and don’t give up.
Let us know how it goes & if you have any tips or advice on how you deal with fussy eaters please share.
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