How can I use this extra time at home to support my fussy eater?
Fussy Eating & Food Refusal
𝐔𝐒𝐄 𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐘 𝐎𝐏𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐔𝐍𝐈𝐓𝐘 𝐓𝐎 𝐄𝐀𝐓 𝐓𝐎𝐆𝐄𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑
I’ll gladly be a broken record with this one- but I can’t emphasise the importance & benefit enough of sitting together & role modelling eating, feeding skills & behaviours! It’s essential in managing children’s eating & there seems to be more time for meals together at the moment, so make hay whilst the sun shines!
With less opportunity to shop & more careful planning with meals why not try to get into a habit of making just one main family meal at least once per day (rather than everyone’s favourites!) – this combines family meal benefits (above) with experience & exposure (below)
𝐁𝐄 𝐀 𝐓𝐄𝐀𝐌
Get consistency with parent & family approach to managing feeding
Has it become apparent that there is good cop & bad cop when it comes to your LOs eating? One of you topping up with preferred foods or chasing around with a spoon due to worries about food refusal & the other trying to stick with a clear routine ? I hear this one a lot, so use this time to get a consistent, unified response, plan & approach to feeding so your child has consistency (which is key to change)
𝐄𝐗𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐓𝐎 𝐍𝐄𝗪 𝐅𝐎𝐎𝐃𝐒
Maybe you’ve had to deviate from your usual essentials, or have struggled to get your child’s preferred foods. Don’t panic! Use this opportunity for EXPOSURE to less familiar foods-yes they might be rejected & not eaten but repeated exposure to food is often essential on the journey to acceptance (which may take 15-20+ exposures- but you have to start somewhere!). Exposure isn’t just eating either – remember it’s looking, touching, smelling…using all those senses we have are essential for feeding!
𝐄𝐗𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄 𝗪𝐈𝐓𝐇 𝐅𝐎𝐎𝐃𝐒 𝐀𝗪𝐀𝐘 𝐅𝐑𝐎𝐌 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐓𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄
Take away some of the pressure of eating less familiar foods but allowing children to gain experience with foods away from the dinner table. Activities like; drawing foods, watching cookery TV (excuse for Saturday kitchen), cooking, baking, chopping, playing ready steady cook, growing fruit or veg in pots.
𝐑𝐄𝐅𝐋𝐄𝐂𝐓 𝐎𝐍 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐒𝐓𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐒 𝐋𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐒
There’s no doubt it’s a stressful time at the moment but lots of parents have told me how useful it’s also been for reflection. Reflecting on your approach at the dinner table can be hard & shouldn’t be judgemental (but it can be beneficial), ask yourself questions like:
“𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘥𝘰 𝘐 𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘥𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘳 force?”
“𝘋𝘰 𝘐 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨?”
“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘐 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥…”
“ 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘶𝘴𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘮 & 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦?”
𝘈𝘯𝘺 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘺 𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨? Get in touch – book a call or via chat !!
Lucy Upton RD – Dietetic Lead