Handling my Fussy Eaters

My children are fussy eaters…  phew I said it!  I am fairly sure that admission is the first step to recovery and I need to get this recovery sorted out as I have been rather hiding from this issue that has been getting worse recently.  I mean they are not extremely fussy and will eat some really strong flavours including indian curry, pesto and thai curry, but they have an aversion to anything green – unless it is broccoli which they adore or hidden in a sauce!  As they do eat a variety of foods and will try new flavours I have been convincing myself that they weren’t really fussy eaters, but honestly I can’t eat anymore broccoli!  Enough is enough!

Fussy Eaters

The Hate List

I have noticed that over the past year or so one of the boys has become an increasingly fussy eater.  Sometimes it is easier to ask him what he will eat than what he won’t.  His exclamations of ‘Yuk’ at every opportunity have been starting to rub off on his sisters so I decided we needed to nip this in the bud before I end up in a situation where everyone only eats certain things and I have 4 super fussy eaters.  I just can’t manage that.   Currently my little boy’s hate list grows daily and some things that were on the love list one day can be on the hate list the next.  I can’t keep up.  He doesn’t even like things that you expect kids to love so currently on the hate list (this is not exhaustive just the ones I can think of right now) are:

Potatoes

Chips (these are like his mortal enemy)

Anything in breadcrumbs

Any vegetable other than cucumber and broccoli

Any type of sandwich unless it is Jam

Any cereal except Cornflakes

Tomato (unless in sauce)

Almost every dinner I cook…

I had seen that Empty Nest Mummy had done a vegetable tastes test successfully with her littles so I decided to give it a whirl in an attempt to make trying new stuff fun.  So before they came down this morning I chopped up different raw vegetables and then we put them all on a plate so we could see all the colours that we had. We included a variety of colours and textures and we talked about the health benefits different vegetables might have for them such as helping to prevent disease, improving skin, helping them to grow, helping them to heal etc….

What we tried:

Spinach

Sweetcorn

Cucumber

Carrot

Red Pepper

Red Cabbage

Peas

I started with my least fussy child as he already likes some of the veggies we included and I thought that might help.  It did!  He was very vocal about how much he liked the carrot and the peas (which he has previously hated) that his sisters were intrigued.  He is the eldest and they think he is awesome so if he says it is good it must be worth a try.  He was the one who tried the most items and who discovered the most likes.  He now tells me that he likes Spinach, Red Peppers, Red Cabbage and Peas which he has always maintained he hated.  The twins still weren’t willing to try everything, but there was some success as we now have two girls who like peas – woohoo!!

fussy eater

As for our super fussy eater;  well he still wouldn’t try anything new, but he ate the cucumber and he kept coming over to see what we were doing and asking what the others liked so he definitely had FOMO.  This has to be a positive thing.  My theory is that if I push him to join in he will just dig his heels in so we just carried on and let him come over when he wanted to.  I encouraged him to get involved and explained that if he didn’t like something once he had tried it that was fine, but still he wouldn’t actually try anything.  I think we will start to do this more regularly so that we can hopefully gradually introduce him to new vegetables and continue to encourage our other fussy eaters to continue to eat a wider variety.

He is a tough nut to crack (incidentally he doesn’t like nuts either) so I am continuing with school dinners for him so that he is exposed to a wide range of foods which his peers are all eating and continue to get feedback from school that he is eating each day.  I am also going to be trying this book:

He might be a bit too old for it, but it is worth a try and if he doesn’t go for it I can always read it to the twins – advantages of having lots of littles!

I totally recommend trying this activity with your fussy eaters.  We actually did have fun doing this and although I couldn’t get the fussiest of them all to try anything new I still felt his involvement:

It was way more successful than just putting them on the plate with their meals which I have tried endlessly with little progress. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get that pea risotto, that I love so much, back on the menu actually with at least a vague hope that someone else will eat it!

Navigating Baby

 

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33 thoughts on “Handling my Fussy Eaters

  1. Anything with breadcrumbs! That would be every mealtime ruined at mine. School dinners is such a Godsend for me. At least I know he has one decent meal every week day.
  2. Both my boys were quite fussy before starting f school then book THEY have a lot more choice in their diet X #DREAMTEAM
    1. Fingers crossed that will start to happen here! Thanks for being with us on the #DreamTeam this week
  3. My son has always hated potatoes and chips but he will Eat everything else. This was even when he was being weaned. I think keep trying and keeP offering cHildren various foods as they may say they dont like it one day and will like it the next. #dreamteam
    1. Yes I think that is the key. Sometimes I make dinner just knowing most of it will end up in the bin! Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam
  4. My kids were pretty fussy when they were young. they eat everything now. It's really nothing to worry about! :)
    1. Thanks Laurie. I will just wait it out then #DreamTeam
  5. I've got one fussy eater and one who eats anything (who used to be a fussy eater). I'm hoping it's just a phase and that he'll grow out of it like his sister did. We've never tried the vegetable taste test though, so might give that a whirl. #dreamteam
    1. I am not sure how much difference it made, but at least it was a positive interaction with veggies! Thanks for joining the #DreamTeam
  6. Ahh mine are such fussy eaters at the moment too! i was really hoping that school would help my little girl be a bit more adventurous, but no such luck so far.
    1. Me either! In fact school might be making it worse!!
  7. Well done on acknowledging it and trying to deal with It positively. I had such a relief when my third child showed he will try just about anything. My first son was so fussy and I did not always handle this well but he is now at strapping 17 year old so it works out in the end. He hated eggs and persuaded his sister to be the same which I hate. It is not at all easy this parenting business and I am going to try yet again to introduce some new foods into the mix and persuade my 17 year old that carbs are not the only way forward! #DreamTeam
    1. My sons have convinced my daughters that egg yolk is the devil!! Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam
  8. It can be tough having picky eaters but they will eventually grow out of it. My boys have been a nightmare over the years
    1. Thanks for joining the #DreamTeam
  9. Mine will eat raw carrots or cucumbers - and that's it for veggies. We go through a lot of both trying to tell ourselves that she is eating healthy #dreamteam
    1. We have cucumbers literally with every meal!!
  10. My little girl has always been a good eater but recently has become quite fussy which has been hard for me, because I've had it quite easy til now! WE get the 'yuck' when I tell her what we're having for tea - whatever we're eating. she'll be 4 at the end of november and I'm wondering if this is her way of showing me that she's a big girl now and that she has her own opinions on what she wants or doesn't want. I'm really hoping it's just a phase! #dreamteam
    1. I blame everything on a phase. It’s the only way I make it through the day thanks for joining the #DreamTeam
  11. This is an ongoing trial over here too, likes and dislikes can and do change daily. To be fair though, sometimes I'm not in the mood for certain foods either.
    1. I never thought about it that way. They really never get to have what they fancy eating... thanks for joining the #DreamTeam this week
  12. I'm a fussy eater. I hide vegetables in sauces...from myself. It's bizarre, but it works! #DreamTeam
    1. I do it for my husband too as he doesn’t like many veggies #DreamTeam
  13. Thankfully my kids have never been fussy but suddenly my boy has started saying he doesn't like or want things he used to love - carrots, chapatti (which we have a lot with indian food) and peas. He used to love veg but he's started becoming fussier by the day! #DREAMTEAM
    1. It’s so odd when they just suddenly don’t like something. My fussiest eater told me he didn’t like chicken today. I nearly threw in the towel there and then Thanks for being part of the #DreamTeam
  14. What a fab idea! Mine used to adore all veggies and fruits... until school. I have no idea what happened, but now she tries not to budge on certain things. Especially salad leaves, and for some reason... rice :-O Though we tricked her tonight with stuffed vine leaves, which she polished off tehehe! Thanks for being a lovely #dreamteam host xx
    1. School seems to have made my son worse too! I thought it would help but no... I’m going to have to go packed lunches ahhhhhh! #DreamTeam
  15. Your list is the opposite to my little one's :) If someone orders chips then you can forget convincing him to eat anything else on the table. Only way I can get vegetables into him are through CAMOUFLAGE #DreamTeam
    1. Maybe hide veggies in the chips? ;) Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam
  16. My youngest daughter was and still is a fussy eater - she still refuses to eat certain foods without trying it. Luckily when it comes to veggies I don't have a problem with her not wanting to eat it - but don't give them brussel sprouts - i suppose that is one veg i also can't stomach #dreamteam
    1. Brussels are certainly an acquired taste... Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam
  17. My kids all started off brilliantly but are all now fussy! They all like carrots but not chicken nuggets! #dreamteam
    1. I blame Jamie Oliver ;) LOL! Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam

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