How do you get around fussy eaters? Tell us to win £100-worth of picture books! Ends midday 8 February(157 Posts)
Eat Your People! is a hilarious tale of fussy eating, guaranteed to get children giggling. To celebrate its publication, we want to know how you get around those pickier eating habits.
Do you think vegetables are yucky? Just wait until you see what Monty the Monster has on his plate!
Monty definitely does NOT want to eat his people. He'll eat his vegetables - every single one! - but he will not eat his people.
For your chance to win Eat Your People! and a £100 picture book bundle from Hachette, just tell us: what are your tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
This discussion is sponsored by Hachette and will close at midday on 8 February
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My daughter is a nightmare. But I do get her to prepare some of her meal herself with my help. Gping out for a walk also helps as it increase her appetite.
My son went through a phase of only eating peanut butter on toast (even for Christmas dinner!) We just kept on putting different foods on the side of his plate, eventually it went in. Now, nearly 6 he helps me decide what meals we will eat as a family for the week and also helps prepare it too.
Work with what they will eat and introduce something new. My son loved bread, and so I served him bread and home made vegetable soups which encouraged him to try new tastes. They went down a treat!
My 5 year is mostly OK but he is increasingly getting quirky about some foods, Hot pizza is too "bendy" chips can't be too long cucumber has to be cut a certain way etc etc. I find that it is mostly just listening to what it is they object to and finding different/acceptable ways to serve something. Pasta is a no, unless with meatballs. Likewise he won't eat tomatoes or lettuce unless with tacos. We generally just experiment with different combos until we find something that works, if we want hot pizza though it has to be thick crust - that won't bend 😂
TV on! I know that's probably a Terrible Mum offence but it works! He eats a million times better with the TV on!
We make elaborate food pictures on the plate always with one ingredient that is new(ish) most of the time the plate is mote or less cleared!
-Be persistent- never stop offering new foods or food child has previously rejected- children are constantly changing their minds/moods.
-Try as much as possible to eat in front of child so that they see you eating a variety of food (dinner round table works for us).
-When possible (or practical) try to get child to help in preparation, they will often eat what they have made more readily.
We find threatening to eat her food ourselves always works! As does challenging them - 'I bet you can't eat that...'
Mines never been such "a picky" eater but he did go through a phase of not liking certain things so what I did is I made whatever it was for myself and he would want it( always been one of those kids that likes mummy's food ) so yeah if he thought it was mine he would eat it now I don't have a problem he eats anything
I found that sitting them at the adult table and trying to all eat at the same time helped. Also at one stage when daughter wouldn't eat much I found she would if I gave her pieces of food of my own plate.
With my son as well as my nieces and nephews, I have eaten the food with them so they ate it. Quite often it worked. Sometimes I would give them a treat for eating.
Sit all together and if you really like a veg and maybe they don't say how lush they are and you are having more please! Say a few people or very close family names who think the same! It works in my home as we say easy peasee!!
I found having her eating with her friends who would eat it helped, she would see them eating and occationally she would try it.
Other times I'd blend veg onto meals, or just have 1 new thing on the plate.
I'm much more relaxed about her fussiness now as her staple foods are healthy.
peer pressure - they're much more likely to try something their friends are eating.
being more relaxed - either just offering and if they say no, say ok or wait for them to be interested in what I'm eating.
I have no truck with fussy eating. I work on the basis they won't starve to death so I cook it, present it and they eat or don't eat it. If they don't I am confident they won't starve to death before the next meal and I suspect that if they do begin to starve to death they will eat what is put in front of them.
DD7 cooks dinner 1 day a week - usually Friday/Saturday. Nothing too elaborate. She suggests something, helps shop for it and then cooks it - with help from me/DH when using the oven/sharp utensils.
She then gets an idea what it's like "ugh no - don't like that" etc.
One of the best ways we've turned around our fussy eaters is to tell a short story beforehand about the 'magic' contained in the food.
For example, after previously spending half an hour swirling his spoon around now-sodden cornflakes in semi-warm milk, our story convinced our little one of the magic in the bubbles. Once enough bubbles are created by vigorously stirring the spoon in the milk, the challenge is to quickly finish each spoonful before the bubbles burst. Suffice to say, it didn't take long to finish his bowl of cereal.
And as for broccoli and spinach, the story of 'Popeye The Sailor Man' still works.
I've found it best to carry on cooking family meals as normal, I don't cook special meals, and I don't stop cooking with a particular ingredient just because someone doesn't like it, but I try and be a bit flexible
I do try to make meals as attractive as I can. I try and make the presentation look nice, and try not to have different foods touching each other when I serve up.
If a food is really disliked, I might present it in a different way (one child had raw carrot batons when everyone else had rounds of cooked carrots, for example), or I might serve a substitute, eg everyone else has salad, DC has chopped celery.
I put a teeny tiny bit of a disliked food on the plate, but there is no pressure. I recently had my fussy child say to me in tones of wonder "Mummy, cooked carrots are actually yummy, I like them now!"
I try and cook meals where different choices are possible, so that the DC can have a bit of control. Different choices of toppings that can be added (or not) at the table and that sort of thing.
Main thing I think is to not to make it into an issue, don't turn it into a battleground, don't put too much pressure on your child (or yourself!)
My daughter uses me when the kids dont eat something ! If grandad eats it they will try it ,So good old grandad has to eat his greens ,sprouts etc .As long as it works i do it !
also I think with food its a way in life of people venting.some odd reason we all take it out on food!make sure there sitn something your little one is communicating via the refusal of the food or odd behaviour.has something happened previously or is something going on. when they are happy it soo much easier.
for instance ours was knocking the plate off over and over.
it turned out she didn't want to eat because dad hurt her feeling and she didn't no why.
so young they don't understand life,so communicating troubles comes in so many forms we wouldn't think of.
this is far deeper than it usually is though so often they are just being fussy haha
My son was always very fussy until instarted letting him choose some things in the food shopping them allowing him to help prepare and serve them. It also helps if the food looks fun on the plate!
My 3yo is so annoying. It's the inconsistency which annoys me most. One month she'll eat something. Next month won't touch it. We've had progress recently using reward chart and also reading to her while she's eating. Because it's not just what we can get her to eat that's a struggle but getting her to stay at the table to eat. We had got into a bad rut of letting her watch a tablet but now we read to her instead. We'll read if she's eating and touch wood that's working.
Her fussiness can be like "mmmm lasagne but not the white bit" even though she loved it last time. Both daughters refuse mash potato so one week I topped a cottage pie with sweet potato. I personally didn't like it but 3yo loved it and called it pretend carrot. Since then I've topped it with carrot and swede mash. She still calls it pretend carrot and eats it. Still won't touch a real carrot though lol.
We all have our own little systems and tweaks to get our kids to eat. Just try different things and see what works
I have a very fussy eater and the only way it's worked for us is not to dwell on it and just to keep reintroducing. Now he is older we have allowed him not to eat one item (mushrooms in his case) however he must eat everything else we give him! Also, shows like I can cook help, as he wants to eat what they've Cooked so that helped when he was younger to get him to try new foods.
Its such a very difficult task to get kids
To eat vegetables. I have tried all the tricks and noone of them
Worked. I guess in the end its no point forcing them to eat vegetables but I have not given up
And have started to introduce them more
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