• Aileen Pound

Fussy eater party of one xx

I have always been adventurous when it comes to food, mostly in part because my mum made the most incredible food when I was younger. She used to dedicate one night a month to cooking food from a different country and made everything from scratch - lavender ice-cream, all kinds of bread, slices, you name it she made it. I also have my grandpa to thank for my sophisticated palette; he introduced me to oysters Kilpatrick and oysters oh natural at the tender age of eleven. My grandpa wouldn't allow me to say I didn't like something just by looking at it. He would say 'you can't just look at something and say you don't like it, Aileen, try it first and then if you don't like it you don't eat, it but at least you've given it a go.'

LMM, on the other hand, is a fussy eater as well as a grazer (which is quite frankly a pain in the butt.) In fairness, a lot of the habits LMM has developed have arisen because of problems she had with her tonsils, ears and adenoids. Her ENT specialist said she had one of the largest set of tonsils he had ever seen; because of this she got used to eating soft foods or things like custard, mash, watermelon.

Three years after her tonsils came out and getting her to eat a thing is still a nightmare. I try not to worry as my brother James went through a period of about two years when all he would eat was rice bubbles, Maggie curry noodles and chicken nuggets. On a side note Maggi, if you ever read this, bring back the Curry Noodles I miss them, I used to put them in a bowl uncooked and sprinkle the curry sachet over the top - yum yum. When my mum took him to the doctors, he said not to worry as long; he was growing, putting on weight and had the energy he would be fine. Now he is vegan, drinks only water and is one of the cleanest eaters I have ever seen. I, unfortunately, went in the opposite direction - I looooove all food and drink (except for that weird coffee made out of monkey poop - what is with that anyway)!

So while I wait for the day that LMM will eat a whole meal, I keep in mind things that have worked for me over the years and that I have found comfort.

  1. Hide and disguise, I try and make meals where I can cook up veggies and then blend them. An obvious one, of course, is spaghetti bolognese, but you can blend any veggies in a nice sauce for a variety of meals.

  2. Keep offering your fussy eater different things to try, if they try it and they don't like it then praise them for trying and leave it for a while before trying it again.

  3. If you have a fussy eater who also happens to be a grazer, then have healthy options for them to graze on. I keep cut-up fruit like watermelon or strawberries and cut up veggies LMM likes at hand and ready to go. I also have little yogurt tubs made up in the fridge, jellies for a snack, nuts in jars on the kitchen bench and an array of healthy options in the cupboard for when LMM is hungry. Now I still try and encourage LMM to eat a full meal, but in the event, she isn't going to eat it all at least I have backups.

  4. Most importantly remember they will grow out of it. Getting frustrated and angry isn't going to help anyone, and making a big song and dance out of it only makes the situation seem worse than it is. If they are growing and have ample energy, they will be OK - if you are concerned, see your doctor if the doctor says everything is A-OK! Then continue on!

  5. Have about 4 or 5 full-proof meals that you know they will eat. If you need to make these every week for the next year do it at least, they are eating. LMM's favourites are Penne Pasta with corn, chicken, butter and parmesan. Fettuccine with bacon, egg and parmesan (I'll put the recipes on my Pinterest click here to go to Pinterest ).

  6. Always try and find ways to make a not so healthy meal a little healthier. One of LMM's favourite meals is the Kraft Mac and Cheese she will not eat the healthy version I make lovingly from scratch. So I add tuna and corn into it - it may not seem a lot, but at least there is some Omega in there and a veggie!!!

  7. Make sure they are taking a multivitamin; it will make sure your little one is getting any vitamins that they aren't getting from their current diet.

  8. In my house, I try not to talk about food in terms of making you fat or being unhealthy. Instead, I try to talk about it as how it impacts our lifestyle, such as giving us the energy to play, being able to concentrate at school, keeping our bodies strong and healthy. I try not to make a big deal about lollies and cakes etc. but say these items are to be eaten in moderation as they aren't good for our teeth.

Lastly, I remember LMM is healthy, loved and well looked after and hopefully as she gets older, a full meal will pass her mouth and her range her food will widen.

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