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"Fussy eating does not mean you're failing at parenthood."

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Thanks to our brand partner, S-26 GOLD® TODDLER

Parenthood can be fraught with worry.

Worry about your kids’ safety, worry about their growth and development, worry about them settling into daycare or kinder, and worry about them eating enough good stuff.

For a long time, I worried about my younger child’s fussy eating. I worried that he wasn’t getting enough nutrients, that he was never going to come within 10 metres of a green vegetable, that every mealtime was going to end up in disappointment and frustration as I scraped another meal into the dog’s bowl or the bin.

Most of all I worried that his fussy eating meant I was somehow failing as a mum.

My son is not unusual. Around 50 percent of toddlers are fussy eaters – and eight out of 10 Australian parents feel concerned about their child’s eating habits.

While us mums are very quick to judge ourselves, our child’s fussy eating does not mean we are failing at parenthood.

“Uh Mum, is that veggie mash on my plate?” Source: Supplied.

Case in point – I have two kids. One eats (almost) everything. Serve him a big bowl of vegetable mash and he responds with an empty plate. Raw cut up vegetables? He loves them. Steamed beans? He asks for another serve. Getting him to tick off every food group has never been an issue.

His baby bro? Totally different story. Vegetable mash is greeted with an emphatic, “Yuck”! Vegetable crudités make him dry retch and he can sniff the addition of spinach to his smoothie from four rooms away. If there was a cuisine that consisted of bananas, pasta, cheese and meat, he’d be on the next plane to its origin.

Both my kids have been parented exactly the same way. They have both had the same boundaries, the same discipline methods and the same food served up. While we enjoy the occasional takeaway or treat, we follow a healthy diet at home and try our best to limit sugar and processed foods. So when I look at it without my mummy guilt glasses on, I see that my kids are just different, with different personalities and different ideas about what is and isn’t edible.

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I need to remind myself to focus on the little person in front of me rather than the behaviour. It’s no-one’s fault. It’s not a symptom of poor parenting. My younger son is just going through a fussy eating phase and we need to ride it out as best we can (without losing our sanity or allowing the dog’s BMI to blow out).

"One thumbs up, one thumbs down. Nothing new here." Source: Supplied.

But how do we get through the fussy eating phase while ensuring our little one gets the nutrition he needs to thrive? There are a few ways. Firstly, we keep going with our covert vegetable hiding operations and blend veggies into sauces, meatballs, savoury muffins and fritters.

Secondly, we supplement his diet with S-26 GOLD TODDLER, which supports four key pillars of toddler nutrition with the Alula Toddler PlatinumCare Complex™. In addition to serving it as a milk drink, we scoop S-26 GOLD TODDLER into recipes to bump up the nutrition factor. I’m talking blueberry pancakes and banana smoothies – both are a big hit!

Thirdly, we try and make mealtimes a fun occasion. I get the kids involved in the cooking process and when we sit down to eat we talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes we talk about the importance of being healthy and feeding our brain so we can learn, sometimes we just share what happened during the day or tell stupid jokes.

When the vegetables are untouched, we try our best to take a leaf out of Elsa’s book and let it go because life is too short to be stressed out about something that won’t last. As the parenting mantra goes, “This too shall pass” and in the meantime, we have ways to deal with it.

How do you deal with your child’s fussy eating? Are you able to let it go? Or is it something you continue to struggle with? If you have any tips and tricks, we’d love to hear them.

1 Department of Health and Human Services, 2014, Toddlers and Fussy Eating, Better Health Channel, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/toddlers-and-fussy-eating, accessed November 7, 2018.
*S-26 GOLD TODDLER, a supplementary milk drink designed to assist your toddler when dietary intakes of energy and nutrients may be inadequate.
S-26 GOLD® TODDLER

In a perfect world, the perfect toddler would be a perfect eater. In the real world there is S-26 GOLD® TODDLER, a supplementary milk drink designed to assist your toddler when dietary intakes of energy and nutrients may be inadequate.

S-26 GOLD TODDLER; supporting the 4 key pillars of toddler nutrition. The only nutritious milk drink formulated on the Alula Toddler PlatinumCare Complex.

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