A not-so-serious quiz to determine whether your child is a picky eater

Tick which answer applies to you:

1. a) His favourite food since he was weaned, you know, the food he asks for for dinner every day, the only go-to meal that you know he will actually eat… He suddenly decides is disgusting and looks horrified that you even tried to place the abomination infront of him.

b) His favourite food is everything and anything.

2. a) She will starve herself for DAYS, maybe even weeks. rather than eat a food that she does not like. 

b) She would dine on lobster and caviar if I let her.

3. a) He can sniff out a vegetable in a meal from the next room, no matter how hard you try to disguise it

b) He likes you to put extra vegetables in his meal incase he can’t taste them well enough.

4. a) You find yourself spending an extra hour in the kitchen every night preparing separate meals for the family, for her to then have a tantrum when it’s served because she has something different. When offered said meal that the rest of the family is eating, she has another tantrum because she doesn’t like it.

b) I only have to cook once because the whole family eats the same nutritious meal.

5. a) Everything you put infront of him is too hot/ cold/ dirty/ funny looking and mostly ends up on the table/ floor/ his head/ up his nose (delete as appropriate).

b) Everything you put infront of him is delicious.

Mostly a’s: Run for the hills, you have a picky eater on your hands! You will most likely spend the next 16 years on your knees begging them to eat something healthy. Whatever you do, do not offer them any sort of new food, even if it’s a mixture of all the foods they love in a new form. This could have explosive consequences.

Mostly b’s: You do not have a picky eater and I’m afraid to say that I am mildly jealous… Ok, no, I hate you and your stress free mealtimes!

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Our 7 day food challenge!

So today is the final day of our food challenge, and while I am extremely proud of C, I was quite surprised that it turned out to be more of a challenge for me than for him. George-Bernard-Shaw

What you may not know about me is that I was, as a child, an extremely fussy eater. I still remember the feeling of fear when a new food was placed infront of me and I’m ashamed to say that this was something that carried on until I fell pregnant with C when I was 23 years old and really started focusing on eating healthily (although it’s still something I struggle with now).

That’s what spurred me to do this as being picky makes life a whole lot harder. You can’t go out for meals, it’s awkward when you eat at someone’s house… You know the drill.

Anyway, I do not want this for C. I want him to enjoy food and be healthy, after all food is the spice of life!. So I took myself out of my comfort zone, C out of his, and I introduced him to 1 new food every day for a week. Here’s how it went:

Monday: Red pepper (something we haven’t revisited since weaning when he rejected it).

Status: Feel free to check out my previous post about day 1 on the epic FAIL of this!

smoothie

Tuesday: Smoothies: (click here for recipe). The last time I tried these, he deemed them disgusting and then spat it out all over the floor!

Status: Success! The orange went down better than the strawberry but I put this down to the strawberries being a bit sharp. I will be experimenting with adding veg to these very soon!

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Wednesday: Quinoa. I wasn’t sure how he would react to this on it’s own so I coated chicken with it and made chicken nuggets. After telling him they were fish fingers (he calls anything with breadcrumbs fish fingers) he ate 1 of them which is reasonably good.

Status: Win!

muffins

Thursday: Savoury muffins. We made carrot and cheese muffins together and C gobbled down 5 in a row!  (Recipe here)

Status: Epic Win!! (But then they did resemble cakes)

noodles

Friday: Noodles. I’ve always steered clear of noodles for one reason or another. It was more because I thought he’d reject them as they were a bit different so this one was more about getting me out of my comfort zone. I served them with a marscapone pasta sauce as this is one of his favourites.

Status: Success! And he’s asked for them every day since!

Saturday: Cucumber (another thing he rejected while weaning and I never tried again). I cut the skin off as he’s always been funny about skins and just placed it on his plate as a side. I ensured that I didn’t bring any attention to it too.very important to avoid any power struggles or tantrums! I also told him he didn’t have to eat it if he didn’t want to.

Status: Bear in mind that I was exposing this to him every day from the beginning of the week by just putting it on his plate. He didn’t touch it until today when he asked me for a sticker (on his reward chart) if he tasted it. He took the tiniest bite but I still see this as a win!

sweet potato

Sunday: Sweet potato (a food he used to eat baked but then decided he hated because it was the same colour as a carrot!). I chopped this into chip shapes, roasted in theoven and served as a side with fish fingers.

Status: After initially refusing to eat it, he tried a small bit and decided that they were actually quite tasty! Success!

I really would recommend this to anyone dealing with a fussy eater as it exposes them to a whole host of new foods. And I even got an extra little surprise when he tasted a carrot on day 2 (though hasn’t eaten one since so not sure if this was a success or not!).

Next step: Try a new vegetable everyday for 10 days before moving on to the next. If he takes to it well then incorporate it into his everyday meals. (studies have shown that it takes at least 10 tries before their little taste buds accept or reject them). Wish me luck!

Mummascribbles

Super Simple Smoothies

If your child will have them, smoothies are the perfect way to get fruit and veg into your child. Yes it would be a perfect world if our children would eat tonnes of fruit every day but sometimes it’s not that easy and we just need a simple solution.

Smoothies are also great because you can sneak literally anything into them… Spinach, kale, flax seeds, you name it. I started off simple this week though as smoothies were something that C had previously refused. 

Strawberry and Banana 

  

1 cup of frozen, tinned or fresh strawberries 

1 banana (I used a banana I had previously frozen as it turns ice-cream-like in the freezer)

A handful of grapes

2 cups orange juice

1 strawberry fromage frais/ yoghurt

1/2 cup milk

Whizz it all up in the blender and push through a sieve if your little one is opposed to lumps. Enjoy!

Yummy Orange and Peach

  

1 Orange peeled and separated

1 peach or apricot fromage frais

A handful of grapes

Half a tin of peaches (with juice)

2 cups of orange juice

1/2 a cooked carrot

Whizz and seive as above and enjoy!

We will be road testing lots more smoothie combinations in the coming weeks so watch this space!

Do you have any smoothie recipes that are a winner with your fussy eater?

 


The perfect parent brigade

There are times (or all the time with me) that we feel as if we are being judged as parents. Whether this is because of our own insecurities, or the condescending attitude of others, it’s something that us parents all have to face sometime or another

Fussy children are usually hypersensitive and may come with tidal waves of emotion which erupt into huge tantrums or confrontations. This is probably when we feel the most judged, especially when it happens in public. 

 

Take C for example. We were in Asda a few days ago and for no reason whatsoever (or none that I could fathom at that specific time) he broke down into screaming rage. This was in the middle of the sweet isle, holding a packet of haribo, so you can imaging what sort of parent I looked like! What made it worse was the smug looking mum who swooshed past, her child sitting nicely in the trolley munching on a carrot. A CARROT FFS!!!! 

In the end, I had to literally carry him out of the shop kicking and screaming. Thank god baby didn’t kick off too or I would have been trapped in that nightmarish situation, the isles closing in on me, mums walking past tutting and wagging their fingers in my direction…

 

Ok so the mum who walked past probably only looked my way because she thought someone was being murdered down that isle, and good on her kid for eating that carrot! I should have gone and congratulated her! 

What I am trying to put across is that even though we may feel that people are judging us sometimes, we are usually our own worst enemy. 

Don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault. Parenting is hard, and we are all struggling through it doing the best we can. 

When something like fussy eating crops up, it makes the whole process 1000x harder but what really matters is that you are trying! You care! You care so much that you are giving yourself grey hairs stressing about it.

So carry on doing what you are doing. Whatever that is. Hide the vegetables, offer them even if your child leaves them, don’t offer them at all, feed your child McDonald’s for every meal if you have to. I don’t care. You are doing your best and that’s what matters. Well done.