This is a Premium feature
Please help - 5yo fussy eater(6 Posts)
DD has always been fussy but is getting more restrictive as time goes on and I really struggle to think of what to feed her!
These are the things she will eat:
Egg as omelette (sometimes)
Risotto (but no other rice)
Hotdog sausages (not normal ones)
She won't eat anything with sauce, anything particularly chewy, any veg... recipe/meal ideas are desperately needed as I only feed her pasta and cheese, and pizza it seems! And she can spot a hidden vegetable at 10 paces...
I know you say she can spot hidden veg but can she if you puree the life out of it? Can you do home made pizza and puree fried onions and peppers then mix them in with the tomato sauce base?
In spag bol you can add onions, carrots, celery (sofritta) red peppers, courgettes and mushrooms, blend them into a puree then add that to the tomato base. I used to do that all the time. The trick is to not add too much of any of them at first and gradually increase until you have more veg than meat in the sauce.
Overall, her diet isn't bad. If you explain to her that she has to eat 5 a day to be healthy and give her some cucumber, banana, strawberries etc every day that's a start.
Will she eat chips? If so you could try sweet potato chips.
In risotto, will she eat peas? If so, would be tolerate them on their own with chicken?
You'll get there. DS2 was so fussy. It took years of sneaking in veg and putting out loads of little pots of healthy stuff for him to pick and mix from before he'd eat normally, but he does now.
If she likes wraps, chicken and cheese, you could try chicken enchiladas.
We have one meal, no choice and you must try something new but you don't have to finish it if you don't like it.
Give your DD a recipe book and together stick post it notes on the pages of the things she’d like to try. Then, when you make something that she’s expressed an interest in, show her the book to remind her that she chose it. I did the choosing from the recipe book thing with my Dc and they chose stuff like tuna burgers, sweetcorn fritters, enchiladas etc...
Also take her shopping and let her choose out the fruit and veg. One success I've had is with broccoli. My son wouldn't touch it with a barge pole until I got him to pick the one he wanted at the supermarket. Then we came home and he washed it and broke it into pieces and popped it into a saucepan. He made a lot of mess and water went everywhere, but he also had great fun and has eaten broccoli ever since'
I also found that when they cooked it they'd try something more adventurous. Even quite small children can help in some way.
Use exciting names for foods e.g. we call chicken in sauce 'sticky chicken' or soup 'surprise soup' or green beans 'squeaky beans' (can you hear them?) and ham up the name ... Playing with food doesn't have to be a bad thing. A child is more likely to eat a food that’s colourful, cut into fun shapes or with a dip. My children eat things that they wouldn’t normally eat if it’s on a skewer! We also had a cheese fondue at New Year and they were dipping things that they’d normally turn their nose up at. We used to pretend we're dinosaurs eating trees when we eat broccoli – adds a bit of fun to the meal!
We've explained about vitamins and minerals and how they help your body grow and stay healthy. My DD will now eat mushrooms because she is desperate to be a big girl. And DS will flex his muscles when he's eaten a lot of veg!
A child needs to be somewhat hungry to enjoy their meal, so try offering only water or diluted juice for drinks and snacks of fresh fruit or veg between meals.
When mealtimes are becoming a misery or a battle ground then change the scene. Have tea in a tent or at a small table on tiny chairs with teddies attending.
Take a basic food that she loves e.g. bread, and add new things to it bit by bit – so try bread and cheese then eggy bread, then eggs and soldiers.
Even if she doesn’t accept the food the first time you serve it for dinner, she might the next time. Apparently it can take up to 10-15 tastes of a new food before your child gets used to it, so it’s worth persevering to widen the range of things she will happily eat.
Offer condiments. Sometimes, all your my DC needed to eat a certain food was a little bit of dressing or for example, sweet potatoes with some ketchup. Don’t limit the use of condiments; eventually, she might opt for the items without them.
Serve small portions. Children might be overwhelmed by a large portion of a food that’s unfamiliar or not their favourite. Also you’ll waste less food.
If you know another child who’s an adventurous eater, invite them round for tea – watching them eat different food might just encourage your dd to join in.
She eats way more than my 5 year old if that makes you feel better! I feel for you as I know how stressful it can be
Thank you for the time and tips - I do appreciate it. I've tried doing the fun with food thing, her cooking it - which she loves but still won't eat it - her choosing veg at the supermarket, again very enthusiastic about this but won't eat it herself. Pureeing veg into tomato sauce for Bolognese might work although she eats so little it never seems worth it... oh and I can't eat onion/garlic, gluten or lactose. So meal planning is a barrel of laughs!
Her older brother eats anything and watching him is yet to influence her sadly... and I do only cook one meal but increasingly she just eats nothing. Drink is only water and she rarely snacks. I've tried to stay away from bribery and rewarding her for eating - not least because her brother would be very put out! Oh and she doesn't like any condiments.
Enchiladas is a good shout. Ds loves fajitas but as I can't eat most of it I don't do them. Quesadillas are sometimes eaten actually. I need to make a list...
@Ricekrispie22 awesome thanks!
OP there is a BBC woman's hour episode (s) with great advice too from last year I think
Join the discussion
Please login first.