Having a child who is a fussy eater can be stressful!
You go full circle from being stressed, to annoyed then to the worry stage. You also get the worse parenting guilt trying to work out what you are doing wrong. Questioning if people are judging your parenting skills.
Firstly, you need to stop doubting yourself, you are doing a great job!
Most children go through a stage of being a fussy eater and my two are no different. As babies, they weaned on pretty much anything, in fact I don’t think there was really anything they didn’t like to eat.
Fast forward 7 years and we are in the middle of Ethan at possibly his fussiest stage ever!
Kayleigh went through a stage of being fussy and even now still doesn’t like vegetables or potatoes in any form however she will eat lots of other things or at least try them.
Ethan will pretty much flat out refuse most things some days and will happily push food around his plate for an hour without touching it.
I asked him to compile me a list of the things that he did like to eat so I could work on a menu for him that was a balance of everything, this is what he gave me:
However, I’ve now got to the point where I won’t stress myself or him out with meal times, instead we are working towards broadening his choices whilst making sure he is getting a good mix of all the vitamins & minerals he needs.
So, if you have a fussy eater on your hands, here are my top 3 tips for dealing with it as stress free as possible.
- Pick your battles – Sometimes trying to encourage them to eat something they don’t want to can be easier said than done, it will depend on everyone’s mood and energy levels. If it’s been a stressful day or there is a lack of sleep. Stick to things you know they will like and have another go the next day.
- Get them involved – If like us you do a weekly meal plan, let them pick one of the meals for the day. You could even let them get involved in the kitchen making dinner. Each little bit of hands on experience helps them to relax a little more about foods they are not sure of.
- Encourage little steps – With Ethan he can be so fussy that I don’t even attempt to serve him what we are having, making sure that he is having something I know he will eat. I do however encourage him to try out what I am cooking. This way he is getting the taste for new flavours without the pressure of having a full meal put in front of him.
These are some of the things we are doing with Ethan to encourage him to eat more of a variety however I know it is just a stage he is going through, in time he will eat more of a varied diet. For now, we are just working encouraging him to try out new flavours!
So if you have a fussy eater, don’t stress, you are not alone!