As much as I don't want to admit it, as much as I have tried my hardest to stop this from happening. I am, however, going to have to admit defeat. I have a fussy eater.
Darcie had always been a good eater. She loved her food from an early age and would pretty much devour anything that was put in front of her. I often felt sorry for other mum's when I heard of their battles to get their young children to eat their food, some of which resulted in cooking them separate meals to pander to their wants. But my Darcie would always eat what we ate and even now, cooking her a separate meal just seems so ridiculous to me.
But, how I have now ate my own words. She has started to leave more and more of her food. Picking out the things she hates, onions, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes etc and asking for her favourite's over and over again rather than eating what we're eating. I have kind of ignored it for the past couple of months, not wanting to admit I have a fussy little eater. But, noticing that she is not getting enough of her fruit and veg is something I'm not going to tolerate. Nutrition to these little people is super important, just like in those early days of weaning.
So here is my plan to ensure my fussy little eater, who would rather eat macaroni cheese every night, is getting a good, balanced diet - without having the constant battle at tea times.
Hide Those Veggies
So this isn't necessarily going to alter her outlook on vegetables, but at least, I know she is getting a good mix without her even realising. She does like a lot of veggies, like peas, sweetcorn, carrots and broccoli, but there is an awful lot of other vegetables that we regularly have that she refuses to touch. So I have been coming up with some sneaky ways of hiding those veggies.
Pasta sauce - I usually always make my own, so blending up some veggies into pasta sauce isn't really too much extra work. To make my pasta sauce I have been adding to a blender, tinned tomatoes, garlic, mixed herbs, frozen Mediterranean vegetables (courgettes, peppers, aubergines, onions) and carrots and whizz it all together (if it's a little thick I will add a little water). It tastes delicious and is filled with all the good stuff from those vegetables she wouldn't normally eat - and she just thinks she is eating ordinary tomato pasta! Genious!
Other ways I have been hiding vegetables is in savoury muffins, & a very sneaky vegetable filled macaroni cheese. Hopefully, she won't become wise to my devious ways.
I was always taught not to play with my food, but I like to encourage fun with it too. By simply arranging food in a funny way has, on occasions, made Darcie more likely to eat whatever is on her plate. Yes, she is that fickle at times.
Encourage them to Cook
Darcie is about 10 times more likely to try something if she has played a part in the cooking process. Of course, it isn't possible for her to help all the time, but getting her involved, even if it's just washing the vegetables definitely get's her a little more excited about the food that's on her plate.
I think I'm going to put together a serious of good (slightly ninja Esque) hidden vegetable recipes that have proved to be a success. I'm slowly working my way through my Fussy Eater Pinterest board and will let you know how I get on.
Do you have a fussy eater? Do you have any tips?
Mummy B xoxox