Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Wonder White.
Parents: You got this.
The one thing I still can’t get over, not even four years into my life as a mother, is that dinner is a thing that happens absolutely every single night, always.
There’s no schlepping it with chocolate-based breakfast cereals or half a tub of ice-cream any more. The small people need real food and that’s not just according to, you know, Those People. Smalls need real food.
I’m a keen cook. I enjoy the challenge of a new recipe. I like to perfect an old favourite. Baking is my happy place.
But when food becomes a chore, the kitchen becomes a bit of a gaol. What’s worse is when food becomes a battle.
I have it on good authority that all children go through a fussy stage. I thought mine would be different, but no. My eldest had a white food phase, quickly followed by a dairy-only phase. There was at least a week when he had a carbohydrate-only phase, in which he even refused milk on his breakfast cereal.
Google the phrase “advice for parents of fussy eaters” and you’ll find some truly unhelpful information. Don’t threaten or nag, your child will never voluntarily starve themselves, don’t use sweets as bribes and my personal favourite, make mealtimes enjoyable so children will want to repeat the event.
Google clearly never sat at the dinner table while Mr 3 stubbornly refused to eat one single pea over a three hour period… And so, I became a nutrition ninja. I hid nourishment everywhere I could. I snuck it in left, right and centre and my kid ate it all up. He was happy. He got to indulge his fussy pants and I was happy because he was healthy.
So here are my favourite six ways for convincing your kids to eat nourishing food.
1. Use cheese sauce to your advantage.
Let me explain the value of having a good cheese sauce in your arsenal. Firstly, it’s white, so if you find yourself in the midst of the white food phase, this one is a big help.
Second, that stuff is packed with dairy – milk and cheese. Make a cauliflower cheese, combining a white sauce with a white vegetable. Then try parsnip, and then the other colours of vegetables. Ever so slowly you will get to the point where your child will be willingly putting broccoli in his mouth.
2. Choose the right bread.
Don’t despair that all your child wants for lunch day after day is a white bread sandwich with peanut butter. Wonder white has all the fibre of wholemeal bread, but it comes in the soft white bread that kids love.
3. Secret vegetable pasta sauce.
This is an oldie but a goodie, and with good reason. You can pack an awful lot of beneficial stuff in a Bolognese sauce. Finely diced vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and celery will break down completely in a slow cooked sauce. Serve with spaghetti and let your kid cover it with parmesan cheese.
4. Healthy hamburgers.
Hopefully your child will consent to a slice of tomato and a piece of lettuce when it’s hamburger night at home. But if your kid is anything like mine, there were probably a couple of months where not even that was doable.
Blitzed up mushrooms, red capsicum and tinned lentils is a great replacement for mince. This one even trips up my husband. (Shhh… don’t tell him).
5. Fruit and yogurt icy poles.
Never underestimate the power of an icy pole. Kids are drawn to them like mosquitos to a bug zapper. I make up my own using berries, bananas and yogurt. Blitz up, and freeze in an icy pole mould. No extra sugar or preservatives. Just fruit and dairy.
How do you feed fussy eaters?
Speaking of kids, here are some of the cutest ones around:
Want more? Try these:
While you nourish your kid’s little bodies with all the fibre of Wonder White, nourish their minds with a FREE ebook.
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