During this journey of motherhood, I’ve had some hands-on experience with fussy eaters. While I’m no expert, I still have some grounding in what it is like when your kid won’t eat the food you have put in front of them.
There are lots of reasons why your child may be fussy about food. Many articles I have read over the years have pointed the finger at permissive parenting. However, I don’t think that is always the case. Sometimes our kids model bad food habits from others. Food fussiness can have multiple reasons. For some, they may be seeking to control their world in some way. Being little is hard work! Here are some common reasons I have found for fussy eating:
Some foods have a very strong flavour. When my kids were under the age of five, they had a very bland diet. There were evenings when I would look at the plate of beige I was about to serve them and despair. Even now some vegetables are too bitter. My youngest prefers all her vegetables raw.
Sometimes a food doesn’t have a good mouth feel. For me, soggy bread makes me feel ill when eating it. Likewise, furry fruit like peaches and kiwifruit feel awful to eat though I love the flavour. If I can get hung up on texture, it’s no surprise my kids can too. I have seen first hand how the wrong texture makes my kids gag.
Sometimes the issue with the meal is the odour. Kids will tell you if it smells awful. If this happens, it’s best to remove the meal from in font of them, and ask that they not say anything more. Especially if the rest of the family are trying to enjoy the food. It’s very hard to eat food when someone is loudly objecting to the stink.
Tips for keeping the peace
While all of this can be frustrating, try to be calm. Punishing your child won’t always have the desired outcome. For example, if I kept a dinner my child didn’t eat and kept presenting it to her for days on end, she still would not eat it. “They won’t starve themselves” does not always apply. You want meal times to be as tranquil as possible.
In our house we do our best to cook one meal for everyone. I cook meat, then remove the meat portion for one serve. I plate that meat with plain pasta or rice for the first child. Once the first child has their meal set aside, I add a little sauce for the next portion before plating the second kid’s meal. Lastly, I finish off the meal with the additional sauces and spices for us.
Balancing the nutrition
I recently received two tins of MILO powder from Nestlé as part of a review. Lately we have been enjoying a mug of MILO with milk after dinner. For me, it’s a way to give my kids a nutritional boost, as adding MILO to milk provides more protein, more calcium, more iron and more vitamin D. Plus they are always welcoming of a cup of MILO because they like the taste. Win win!
Is your child fussy at mealtimes? Join our discussion in the comments below.
This article was written by Kym Moore. Kym was sponsored by Nestlé to write this blog for the MILO Hero Mums promotion and was provided with complimentary product and remuneration. These views are the personal views of Kym and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nestlé.
Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.
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