If you have always been a foodie, having kids can really be a culture shock. Suddenly everything needs to be blitzed and mushed, or cut down into tiny sizes. Strong flavors, nuts and seasoning are all out for the first few years too. You probably don’t have the time to prepare the gourmet menus you were used to before the kids. Eventually, though, the kids get bigger, and their tummies can take a greater repertoire of flavors.
Then the real trouble starts! Every texture, sight, and flavor is scrutinized, and more and more food ends up on the floor. Fussy eating is a way of life we all have to learn to live with. As a foodie, it might even break your heart when your little one refuses even to taste what you have cooked. Sadly, not a lot can be done. It is a phase. With patience and some clever strategies, it will pass.
If you have a fussy eater, particularly one who won’t even taste the foods you prepare, there are some activities you can try to help them feel more comfortable with foods. Most toddlers are happy with food that melts in the mouth. Biscuits, bread, crisps and chips all fit this bill. They are all similar colors too. Finely sliced apple probably works. Rice puddings and even pasta. None of these foods are likely to be a problem. Cakes and chocolate are probably firm favorites too.
There are some boiled fruits that come in a packet kids think are gummy sweets. These are great because they provide one of their five a day, plus the kids think they are getting a treat! As for meat and vegetables, you may have a greater challenge. Step away from the dining table for a while and try some arts and crafts. Together, create some paper versions of all the veggies your little one is refusing. Grab a glue gun from somewhere like Glue Guns Direct, and stick them to a paper plate with your child’s name on.
Each day, your child can pick three veggies to put on the plate. This will become a habit, and help your child learn that vegetables put in a daily appearance in our lives. Eventually, you can create little veggie reward trophies. Each day they eat the three veggies, you can create a medal or trophy in miniature for them to wear or put on their shelf. Sticker rewards work really well too. If you can make or buy some stickers for a veggie reward chart, two and three-year-olds will be delighted to put them together each meal.
There are dozens of ideas out there to make eating more fun for little ones. Some kids struggle to feel comfortable with textures. Others won’t try something because they are unsure what it will taste like. If you are tearing your hair out with worry they are not getting enough nutrition, then you are not alone. Nearly every parent goes through it, but with some clever ideas away from the food itself, you may get over it a bit quicker.