Meal times can feel extremely stressful when your child is a fussy eater. In the movies everyone is sitting in perfect harmony eating everything that is placed in front of them but it is a far cry from reality for most parents. Dinner time can be a very tense time in particular.
Meal times can feel extremely stressful when your child is a fussy eater. In the movies everyone is sitting in perfect harmony eating everything that is placed in front of them but it is a far cry from reality for most parents. Dinner time can be a very tense time in particular. The family have come together at the end of a busy day, energy is low, children are tired and someone still has to cook and clean up afterwards. Throw a very fussy eater into the mix and it adds another layer of stress to the situation. Dealing with a fussy eater is so much more than logical. It is incredibly emotional and it profoundly affects everyday family life.
If your child is a fussy eater then eating out is possibly something you avoid entirely. What should be a positive experience would be tainted by the stress and anxiety associated with the fussy eating
. At least in your own home you have familiar foods and the privacy to deal with the situation
accordingly. Many parents have been reduced to tears when their child simply refuses to eat any of the foods that the rest of the family enjoy.
Eating out is such a joy in life. It would be such a pity for you to miss out on that experience. Being handed a meal, particularly as a parent, is a truly wonderful thing. Not having to clean up afterwards is the icing on the cake (we ordered that too). There are some things that you can do which should help make the experience of dining out an enjoyable one even if one or more of your children are fussy eaters.
- Choose restaurants that have an online menu and clearly cater for children as well as adults. This means that the general atmosphere in the restaurant will more than likely be relaxed and this may, therefore help you to relax.
- Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. If a menu does not have anything that your child will eat, ask the server if it is possible to have something that they will enjoy. You can be sure that restaurant’s receive these requests daily and even if it’s not on the menu it is very likely that a kitchen will happily knock up a plain pasta dish or burger for your child. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
- Is your child more likely to eat if they have an IPAD or phone to gawk at? Us too. Arrive prepared ensuring these things have plenty of battery. Look around, most children at the restaurant are doing the very same thing and you know that your child will eat more this way.
- Lower. Your. Expectations. So much of the stress is based on what we are anticipating and fearing. Looking back on previous experiences and submitting to the facts can be extremely liberating. It is what it is so enjoy your meal, you deserve it.
- Have a stockpile of freezer dinners available to you for times like this. Your child may have a favourite meal that you could build a freezer stash up of over time. When you plan to eat out simply defrost and allow your kid to eat their dinner at home before you leave. They will look forward to the dessert, you won’t be spending money on food that they won’t touch and there will be virtually no cooking involved. You won’t feel guilty for them simply having ice-cream in a restaurant as they will have had a decent meal at home.