Yes, it IS possible.
Before my kids were born, I thought breastfeeding would be the hard part. Feeding them actual food was going to be easy, right?
Wrong. For me, anyway. I got through the breastfeeding part okay – but then my kids struggled with solids. When my daughter was turning one, and other kids her age were onto adult meals, she was eating just plain yoghurt and a small range of mashed-up fruits and vegetables.
On the other hand, when my son was around the same age, the only food he’d eat enthusiastically was toast. He refused to eat meat and had very little interest in vegetables.
But I tackled the problem head on and step by step; things began to change.
Here are a few tips that helped me combat my kids’ fussy eating. I hope some of these tricks work for you, too.
1. Ask the professionals.
I took both my kids to see dietitians, and that was really beneficial. I learnt that I needed to focus, in the short-term, on making sure my kids’ nutritional needs were being met. The dietitian showed me how to work with what my kids were already eating.
To me, it didn’t seem like they were eating that much, but it was somewhere to start.
2. Mash foods together.
I started adding mashed-up butter beans or cannellini beans to my daughter’s banana. With her avocado, I mixed in meat and vegetables – just the tiniest chopped-up pieces first, then bigger pieces and more of them.
It was a very slow, gradual process, but hey, presto, it worked.
3. Try soft, yummy bread.
I really wanted my daughter to start eating bread so I could give her sandwiches. She eventually took to Wonder White, because it was soft. She started to be happy to eat sandwiches with avocado and roast beef, which felt like a huge breakthrough.
I knew she was getting fibre and healthy fats and protein and iron, so it took away a lot of the stress I was feeling.
4. Up the protein intake, if needed.
With my son, the dietitian encouraged me to up his intake of food high in protein, like plain yoghurt, to make up for him not eating meat. I also found he liked unsalted roasted nuts, which was another good source of protein and healthy fats. I gave him lots of cucumber and tomato, which were pretty much the only vegetables he would eat.