Fussy Baby - How to cope with a fussy eater
Without going to unnecessary lengths, try to make sure your child’s food not only tastes good but looks good too. For example cut bagels into the shape of a snake or make teddy bear chicken rissoles (see my book Favourite Family Recipes). Instead of having a bowl of fruit on the table, cut a selection of colourful fruits into bite-sized pieces and thread onto a skewer or straw.
Anyone with children will know that they are extraordinarily conservative when it comes to eating. Its easy to lose heart when your child turns his nose up at anything with visible onions or green bits and becomes a 'fussy baby'! We all start off with the best of intentions, but all too soon we find that our six year old only wants Cocoa Pops for breakfast and chicken dinosaurs and Thomas The Tank Engine spaghetti for lunch.
If you want your child to be more adventurous when eating at other people’s houses you will need to get him to him to be less fussy at home first. The key to success is not to get into a tizz if yur child doesn’t eat just say ‘fine’ but don’t give anything else to eat until the next meal. Refusing food loses all its appeal if you don’t react and its amazing how much less fussy your child will become if he is really hungry.
Often it is the snacks your child eats between meals that spoil his appetite. Straight after school is a great time to get your son to eat healthy food, as he will probably be starving. Try to resist buying chocolates biscuits and crisps and instead prepare something like a tuna pita pocket or chicken pasta salad. There are lots of ideas in my latest book After School Meal Planner and my Fussy Eaters Recipe Book.
A gift wrapped in bright paper with a beautiful ribbon inspires more enthusiasm than one given in a brown cardboard box, and the same goes for the food that we serve our kids: You can transform a plain-Jane peanut butter sandwich into an irresistible kid's treat when it's cut into a heart or a teddy bear. Instead of whole fruit in a fruit bowl thread bite sized pieces of fruit onto a skewer or puree fruit and freeze it in ice lolly moulds.
Getting children to try something new is not easy – inviting a child over for tea that is a good eater is an excellent ruse. At all costs avoid confrontation – its much better to turn ‘weird’ food into a game by blindfolding your son and then asking him to try a selection of foods some familiar and some new and guess what they are.