5 Tips for Fussy Eaters
I am so excited to have naturopath and mum, Jess Donovan from Energetic Mama here today to share with us her tips for fussy eaters. It’s one thing that makes parents tear their hair out!! These tips will help to fuss proof your kids and broaden their food horizons.
Yuck, I’m not eating that! Sound familiar?
I’m sure all parents have heard this from their children at some point and it can be extremely frustrating when you have spent an hour or two slaving away in the kitchen.
Is it really possible to get your kids to eat the meal you have spent the last hour preparing?
Maybe not today, nor tomorrow but over time it is possible to improve your child’s eating habits over time. Here’s what I recommend.
♥ Add nutrition to their favourite foods
A great place to start to broaden your children’s food horizons is to look at what they enjoy to eat and add more nutritious ingredients to it. If your child loves pancakes, how about adding some flaxseed meal to the batter and topping them with antioxidant rich blueberries. If your kids enjoy pasta dishes, add some extra vegetables into the sauce. If they eat cereal for breakfast try sprinkling over some chopped almonds and walnuts. This approach will help them to get used to new tastes and textures while eating food they enjoy.
♥ Make dinner a family affair
I know families (mine included) are busy. Parents work late and kids have busy schedules so it is not realistic to think that the whole family can sit down and eat meals together every single day. What I will say though is kids that sit down to family dinners are less fussy and more likely to eat what is put in front of them. All too often kids are getting their dinner plonked down in front of them while they are watching television and mum or dad go off to get the chores done. I recommend at least one parent sitting down with the kids to eat at least one meal a day, it might be breakfast, lunch (if your kids aren’t at school yet) or dinner. The more meals you can sit down with your kids the better but I like to set realistic goals for busy families. Turn off the television and other technology and talk. Meal times are the perfect time to check in with your kids, to find out how there day was and to tell them what you have been up to.
♥ Make one dinner for everyone
One of the biggest mistake I see parents make when it comes to feeding their kids is preparing multiple meals to suit everyone in the family. This approach may prevent conflict at the dinner table but long term it narrows a child’s food horizons. You will never broaden a child’s food horizons by asking them what they want for dinner every night. They need to be encouraged to try different foods by being served what the family is eating, perhaps with the exception of a spicy curry!
♥ Get them involved
Not giving your children an endless choice in what they have for dinner every night doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t have a say in what the family is eating. In fact, I encourage parents to get their kids involved in the food journey. If kids have been involved in the creation of a meal, whether it was planting herb seedlings and taking care of them, picking out the vegetables at the market, chopping, mixing, cooking or serving the meal they will be more interested in eating it.
♥ A fresh food kitchen
Kids will eat what is available to them, so if the kitchen is stocked with white bread, packets of biscuits, chips, shapes and lollies then that is what they will eat. On the other hand, if there is an array of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other healthy foods on hand their food choices will change. If your kids are used to having lots of convenience foods at their disposal there is likely to be some “there’s nothing to eat” complaints to deal with as you are transition to a healthier kitchen but once they are equipped with some fresh food skills they will be well on their way to a lifetime of healthy habits.
Your children happily eating a wide range of healthy foods doesn’t have to be a distant dream but to broaden your child’s food horizons you need to make some changes to the food routines at home. Start slowly, working on one thing at a time and be patient. Good luck, it will pay off in the long run – I promise!
Jessica Donovan is a mama of 2, naturopath and holistic health expert who helps families thrive. She is passionate about educating parents on nourishing their children with real food, helping to boost their health and heal naturally. Jessica combines her deep naturopathic knowledge with a realistic, empathetic, inspiring and down to earth approach to empower women to look after themselves and take charge of the wellbeing of their families.
Want to learn more from Jess?
♥ Starting at the end of June, Jess is running her very popular Natural Super Kids program again. Registrations open tomorrow and the early bird discounted price goes until the 16th of June.
“As a naturopath I see way too many kids in my clinic who are sick all of the time, have eczema, asthma, allergies, behavioural issues or poor gut health. I help these kids overcome their health challenges with real food, nutrition and natural therapies. I also help the children and their parents understand simple nutrition and the benefits of eating good food.” Jess
Check it out here.