A lot of children are more inclined to eat food when it is served in a certain kind of way or on a specific kind of plate or dish.
As an adult, many of us can safely say that we eat with our eyes. Have you ever loved the look of a dish while having no clue at all what is actually in it?
If it appeals to our eyes we are on-board to try it. The very same can be said for the way our children approach food
. A lot of children are more inclined to eat food
when it is served in a certain kind of way or, in many cases, on a specific kind of plate or dish.
It can be tedious as the parent but worth it when they eat significantly more than they would otherwise.
When you have a fussy eating child
you will try anything that hints at improving things. Well, have you ever considered that serving food in new ways could be worth a shot?
It doesn’t have to involve great amounts of time or creativity, but rather thinking outside of the box when it comes to how you serve regular family food to the fussy eater.
You may have heard about the benefits of not singling out a fussy eating child and the fact that a huge amount of it is a game of power – but at some point, you just want to see your child eating a better variety of food and it’s difficult to get it right all of the time.
Here are some ideas as to how you can serve every day healthy food in a new way. It might just change your child’s perception of that food and you will feel happy knowing that they’ve eaten something that they would otherwise reject.
1. Home-made tomato soup
This is a great way of getting tonnes of nutrients into the kids. Including lots of garlic, onion and root vegetables is a great way to stave off a cough and cold too. Putting a bowl of tomato soup in front of your child may not go down well but serving it as a “pasta sauce” with plain pasta and melted cheese on top could go down a treat. It’s “plain”, there is no obvious vegetable to be seen and it’s very much on their terms.
2. Let nuggets and sausage rolls do the hard work
How many of our fussy eaters will happily eat any kind of chicken nugget or sausage roll? Use it to your advantage. These are surprisingly easy to whip up and it is a great opportunity to sneak in some fruit or vegetables. You could add cauliflower or sweet corn to the chicken mince mixture and blend finely so that they’re hidden but without changing the colour of the meat. You can then dip the nuggets into a “best of both” bread crumb so they appear white but have the goodness of brown bread too. Sausage rolls are delicious with some grated apple added to the sausage mix. It’s virtually impossible to know it’s there because the flavour simply works with the sausage meat.
3. Cake for breakfast
A good breakfast is a great way to set the kids up for the day. Offering porridge oats will keep them fuller for longer as it’s a slow releasing carbohydrate. You can whip up some muffins or cake using porridge oats, egg, mashed banana, a little orange juice, Greek yoghurt and honey for sweetness. It is a great way to get the goodness of oats and banana in to your kids accompanied by the calcium and protein found in the yoghurt. They’ll just think of it as cake.
4. Mix a little new with a lot of old
The best approach is often the one that doesn’t come in too heavy. Your child may respond better to a new food if it served in a small variety alongside something that they do enjoy. For example – if your child is not a fruit fan you could offer mandarin orange segments with the tail end dipped in to melted chocolate for a snack or dessert. It might just appeal to them more.
5. Where matters
Sometimes the best place to offer new or healthier food is in a different location to the family home. A picnic, on holiday or at a friends house when your child can see their friend eating that food could work. The child will often feel less threatened and more confident in trying something new.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.