Apart from presents, the queen’s speech and quality family time, today largely centres around a delicious meal. But some parents may be dreading Christmas lunch knowing they have a fussy eater to feed. We all want them to enjoy a bit of everything to ensure our little ones get all the nutrients they need from their food.
Sure, there’s always the option of vitamin supplements, but wouldn’t it just be easier if they just ate the veggies (including a token brussel sprout on Christmas Day) we give them?!
My granddaughter is as fussy as they come. She will be perfectly happy eating something one day, but turn her nose up when she’s presented with it the next. A friend’s grandson won’t eat any food that touched something else on the plate (so for instance, if a pea falls into his mash, both are “nasty”).
All parents and grandparents deal with fussy eaters in different ways, but what currently works best with Grace is disguising veggies in things like a tomato sauce, soups and so on. We tried this approach having read it on Annabel Karmel’s site, which says: “What children can’t see, they can’t pick out.” She also recommends parents offer their kids raw veggies, such as carrot sticks or sliced pepper, with dips in order to try to get them to eat their ‘greens’.
I love reading Dr Bill Sears’ site too for tips. He and his wife Martha, a nurse, raised eight children, so they should know a thing or two about getting kids to eat healthily! Among their top tips and tricks is getting children involved in the food shopping and preparation, so they’re more likely to eat what ends up on their plate, as well as to give food fun names. For example avocado can be ‘boats’ or carrot ‘swords’.
It is sometimes just a case of being patient, we found that with Alfie. Toddlers are quick to pick up on parents’ moods, so if my daughter was anxious and tense at tea time, the situation might became even worse, exactly like it says in this article on the Great Ormond Street Hospital website.
Most kids go through fussy ‘phases’ with their food, so I’ve told my daughter to try not to worry about it. Obviously, though, if we ever were concerned Grace had become particularly lethargic or was struggling to put weight on or develop, we’d certainly get her checked out at the doctors.
Hope you all enjoy a tasty turkey this year!