Are your kids fussy eaters? Mine aren't the best eaters but they are slowly getting there! Over the years, it definitely gotten better and I am just super stoked that they're now trying new stuff! Here are 5 tips that have tried in my household with various degrees of success and hopefully they might work for you too!
1. EAT WITH YOUR KIDS
I admit; I never used to do this. It's only the last year that I've tried this and it has made such a big difference. So whenever or wherever possible, sit down to eat at the same time with your children. I believe creating meal time environment makes the whole situation more relaxed and it's the typical monkey see, monkey do concept; it's a bit like daycare, they will eat if they see everyone is eating too. I like asking the girls to help me set up the dining area to get them more involved, learning how to help serve themselves and pack away when they are finished.
2. INVOLVE FOOD FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE
Depending on the kid, enjoying fruits and vegetables takes time. All my girls are different in their own little ways. One would eat anything and everything, another will only eat fruits, while the last one doesn't like to eat any fruits at all?!
So what we try doing is bringing food in through pretend play! We love playing supermarkets and cooking in the pretend kitchen where I try my best to encourage them to ask about the fruits and vegetables. We then talk and laugh about why they are a good, healthy and fun to eat.
The two older girls are a bit older now and sometimes we love to get them involved in the kitchen to help us prepare REAL food as well, this also leads them to excitement for their next meal and helps us with bonding.
3. DON'T GIVE UP!
Sometimes, as a first time or even as a veteran mother; it can be a very stressful time. Sometimes you see other people's kids eating everything and you think to yourself "What am I doing wrong with my kids? Why are they so fussy? Is it my fault?"
Sometimes it helps me to think about how new foods can be intimidating for little children, but more importantly; just DON'T give up. These things take time and it may take numerous experiences and exposure to the same food before your children will begin to accept it.
Well, it only took me 3 years for Maddison to start eating carrots haha.
4. DON'T SPOIL MEAL TIMES.
I have also started to NOT tell the kids what's for lunch or dinner or asking them what they'd like. I have found that by giving them options, it just gives them an opportunity to complain and ask for something else.
5. MAKING FOOD FUN!
Yes, I am officially a convert! I was pretty old school with the whole "don't play with your food" mentality, but I now love bringing out decorative plates and making meal times fun for my kids! The girls enjoy helping me set up with a variety of different fruits and vegetables on the plate; they definitely seem more willing to eat them afterwards too. Offering variety and choice is also important, it helps them with decisions and exercise power. Below is an example of my latest creation.
We're actually pretty big fans of Little Bellies when it comes to trying to make food more FUN. With my kids ranging from 1-5 years old, I love that there's something for each girl and just how very convenient they are to have around.
So why do we choose Little Bellies?
First of all, I absolutely love that each little snacks has a different shape & texture! It's great for Mabel to encourage and develop her motor skills development by trying to grab, hold and feel and of course, EAT!
Secondly, there's a bunch of different subtle flavours with everything in the Little Bellies range being all natural with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives!
And last, their large variety of all kinds of different products means there something for babies all the way up to toddlers, which of course means there's always something for Maddi, Mikayla AND Mabel.
With Little Bellies we always have a blast pointing out different shapes and trying different flavours and just having a good time over all. You can get their range from your local Woolworths or Coles.