parents

5 ways to fool your tiny fussy eater.

Wonder White
Thanks to our brand partner, Wonder White

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.

Good luck…

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.

“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.

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I made his toast as nutritious as possible by using bread high in fibre, like Wonder White or wholemeal (the added iron in Wonder White was a bonus), and topping it with no-salt no-sugar peanut butter or melted cheese. He liked sweet things, so I gave him a really wide range of fresh fruits, like pineapple, raspberries and cherries.

5. Expose the kids to as many new foods as possible.

I found my son would sometimes randomly try new foods, so I tried to make sure he was exposed to as many as possible.

Once we went to a Nepalese restaurant and he ate a spicy lentil pancake, which gave me hope for the future. I would take him shopping with me, and sit him at the kitchen bench while I cooked dinner. I would put a plate of food in front of him with some things he liked and some he didn’t.

Sometimes he was the one to suggest new foods. After reading Mr Strong, he became convinced that eggs would give him super strength, and was suddenly keen to try them. (Hallelujah!)

My kids may not be perfect, but they’re definitely not as fussy as they were. And I know that now they’re doing well nutritionally.

There is no one simple magic solution to fussy eating — and what works for someone else’s child may not work for yours. But there’s one thing I can guarantee: There’s something out there that will be right for your child.

You just need to find it. And I’m sure that at least some of these tips will help you.

How did you tackle fussy eating? What are your success stories?

Parents, you’ll get this. Here are some classic examples of #mykidcanteatthis:

Want more? How about:

5 family-friendly dinners: Meals that make excellent leftovers.

Five meals to cook for the kid who only eats spaghetti.

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