If you are mother to a fussy eater, then you’ll be all too familiar with the struggle of getting your little one to eat at meal times. It can be really frustrating to get fussy eaters to try new things and eat a healthy, balanced diet, but with these tried and tested tips you may find things just a little bit easier.
Go hands on
Kids are more likely to try a new ingredient or dish if you get them involved in making it. Pick something fun – like a homemade pizza – and have a go at making it together using a simple recipe (like this one available on BBC Good Food).
You should make sure you spare a thought for safety at all times and only let your little ones help with tasks which it is safe for them to do. You can also try and sneak some vegetables into the sauce or finely chop some peppers to put on the top if you want to get them to try new flavours.
Don’t forgot to add some yummy sides either. Most kids have a weak spot for favourite meal accompaniments such as chips. My kids know that a little bit of these types of food are OK, as long as you don’t go mad with them, you are still staying healthy. So why not pop some McCain crispy French Fries into the oven? Their crispy coating are sure to be hit with the little ones and having something familiar on the table might make them more willing to branch out and try new dishes.
Sneak it in
As the mum of a fussy eater, soups and blenders are your new best friends. Blend all the vegetables into a liquid so the chunky vegetables cannot be seen and add some crusty bread on the side for them to dip in and enjoy.
By blending everything together you can disguise ingredients which they may be reluctant to try and help them to discover new tastes. This also works great for pasta sauces if you blend tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms with some garlic, oregano and olive oil.
Play with your lunches
Get into a routine of making homemade packed lunches and add some different flavours to help your kids expand their tastes at every meal. For example, add some spinach to their chicken sandwich for added iron or try using mashed avocado instead of butter for sandwiches. Remember our Lunchbox Bingo, which can add a bit of fun to your packed lunches too.
You could also prepare things like salads with boiled eggs for protein and some yummy tomatoes for Vitamin C. Eating the different textures will make the food more interesting and they will hopefully be more inclined to try it.
Dress it up!
Making the food look fun, attractive and colourful is also pretty critical. Think of how companies market to children with bright colours, and replicate that idea with salads and stir-frys.
Eat it yourself
It is tempting to give different foods to our fussy eaters, but stop!
Do try to prepare the same food for all the family. If mum, dad, brothers and sisters are eating it as well as older siblings, then your fussy eater may give it a go to avoid missing out. If you can show that it’s fun, there is a lot more chance that you can persuade your little ones to eat it too.
Don’t do what I have done; both my kids don’t like tomatoes, and guess what, neither do I *mummy fail*
If you are still despairing, we have a few resources for fussy eaters o help on the blog from our healthy eating charts, to suggesting you encourage kids to listen to their food for a bit of crunchy eating fun!
This is a collaborative post.
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net / Stuart Miles,