Here’s the conundrum: you grow up, you start being an adult, you learn how to feed yourself properly and correctly and at the right time of day (well, to a point at least). You then become a parent and have to try and control both your eating habits and the food routine of somebody who may have a completely different personality and tastes to you. It’s so hard to do, especially if you’re used to fixing yourself something quick or totally unsuitable for a child (it’s not like a 6 month old can share your rare steak). It’s even harder if you have a fussy eater.
Make Meals Fun
If you can try and make mealtimes as fun as you can most of the time they won’t even consider what they’re eating. There are some great healthy eating hacks available on the web, and even if you don’t have the ingredients to do something Pinterest-worthy such as making a smiley face out of 8 different types of vegetable or creating some anthropomorphic object out of several varieties of cheese, there will still be something that you can do to make your child’s food more appealing to them.
Consider Their Likes and Dislikes
It takes a child up to 33 tries to learn if they like a food or not. This is usually during the weaning process, but their adventurous side when it comes to trying new flavours and textures is essentially down to how much variety they were given during this short period. However, there will always be at least one food that your kid really can’t stand, no matter how much you put it in front of them – parsnips are just one example of a taste which is almost too complex, strong and acquired for immature taste buds to handle. Don’t expect them to eat something that they really do not find palatable.
Look at Yourself
If you are cooking different meals for your children then you are yourself, then herein lies the first problem. You are there to set an example, and by cooking yourself a whole new meal you’re basically showing them that their food is not good enough for you. Sit down together at mealtimes and always try to eat the same meal wherever possible. The more that you show you are enjoying it, the more likely your child is to be bold and eat whatever new is on their plate; think about it as a popular person in school coming in with a new style of jacket and setting a trend. You are their role model, and as much as you may not believe it yourself, your little people think that you are the be-all and end-all in terms of being shown how to do stuff right. The more faces you pull at certain foods, or even the showing of dislike towards somebody else’s food, can rub off your child. Try feeding them foods you couldn’t stomach as a kid to see whether this is hereditary or not.