After a long day of obligations, its nice to sit down as a family and enjoy a good meal. Sharing a meal with your little one can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a very difficult one. If you have a fussy eater, meals shift from being pleasant, to tiresome and frustrating.
A fussy eater is anyone who refuses food often, or eats the same foods over and over. This can be extremely frustrating to parents for many reasons. Guilt, the ability to find food your little one will eat, and even the worry that your child isnt getting enough of the necessary nutrients are just the beginning. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your child become more comfortable with variety.
When you first realise you have a fussy eater on your hands, its good to start by observing what your child is actually eating. You may find that your little one is eating more than you think. Once you know your childs food patterns, start to introduce new foods slowly. New foods need to be offered multiple times, even if your child doesnt attempt to try the new food the first time you offer it. It is said that fussy eaters may see a food over ten times before actually tasting it. Some parents have also found that offering a new food at the same time as a favourite food helps. Because the child is already in a good mood from eating their favourite food, it can create an openness toward trying something new. Once you start finding things that your child enjoys eating, it is good to allow them options. Putting several things on their plate that they like or have tried will help them feel in control of what they eat.
As your child decides to take the plunge and start trying different foods, a baby bib can be your saviour. Wearing a bib while trying new foods provides protection for your little ones clothes just in case they decide to spit food everywhere. It happens, but at least bibs can make us feel a little better prepared.
When dealing with a fussy eater, routine and atmosphere can be major factors. Providing a happy welcoming environment for your childs meal time will help them to relax and think of eating as something that can be enjoyed, and not a punishment. Making food fun can also bring forth motivation from your fussy eater. Cutting fruits, veggies, or even sandwiches into shapes can make a normal meal more exciting.
In regard to routine, setting a specific meal time that you stick by can help your child understand that if they are hungry, they should eat whats offered at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not allowing a plethora of random snacks during the day will help your child to eat the foods you are offering at actual meal times.
Having a fussy eater can be difficult, but hopefully we have given you some tips that will help to make your meal time a little easier. Want some funky ideas on how to liven up your childs mealtimes? Check out the Funky Giraffe range today!