Have you got a fussy eater? Don’t worry, you are not alone!
I’m Holly, a paediatric food consultant, Norland Nanny and Founder of Nanny Cooks! My time has been spent supporting and empowering parents through the challenges of fussy eaters. I have used tried and tested tips, tricks, recipes and meal plans. My aim is to help to take the stress out of mealtimes off their plate and add a spoonful of fun!
Having nannied across the world, I have supported young ones, from babies, who are weaning, all the way up to 12-year-old children. I have come across a fair few fussy eaters along the way. This has led me to create a bank of resources to help deal with the challenges of fussy eaters and test out tricks to help prevent it.
I am often asked by parents what are my go-to tips… So here are my top 3:
We want to empower children to be involved in the preparation process, helping them to take ownership and increase the likelihood of them eating the food. For example, getting children involved in the meal planning process, going to the shops to help select the ingredients, assisting with preparing the meals or even laying the table. By involving children in this process, you are helping to empower them and therefore increase the chances of them eating the food. This involvement also helps to teach children vital life lessons, have a greater understanding of the food they are eating.
Let’s be honest, I don’t really like it when someone chooses my food for me and the same applies to children. By giving children a choice, you are helping to give them control over what they are eating. This helps to promote healthy choices. I often do this in the form of a board where I plate up the meal on a board and place it in the middle of the table. The children then serve themselves but I always provide them with some non-negotiables. For example, this could be having to choose two servings of vegetables and a serving of the protein elements. This way you can still ensure they are having a balanced meal and the rest they can choose themselves, adding the element of choice and control.
Children can also be part of the meal planning process, allowing them to choose some recipes for the week also helps to increase a child’s control over what they are eating.
3. Play it safe
We have all been there, spending time sourcing and preparing new dishes, excited for a child to try. But then, they push it away the second it hits the table. This feels disappointing, right? Whilst it is important to expose children to new tastes and dishes, it can be overwhelming for a child and put them off the whole meal. We want to empower children to be creative eaters. This is where playing it safe comes in. Encouraging children to try new foods whilst including a ‘safe’ food. For example, serving lentil curry with pitta bread fingers to dip in.
I know this can all seem overwhelming, trust me I have been there, with screaming children. At the end of the day we are all tired and unsure what to cook them for dinner and how to encourage them to eat it. However, with the help of meal planning and these 3 tips, this can all become part of your everyday routine. It can help to take the stress of mealtimes off your plate while adding fun for the whole family, including your fussy eater!
For more information head over to my website www.nannycooks.co.uk
All the best,