Meal times with the whole family sat around the table chatting, laughing and all tucking into their food is something I would love to happen in our house. In fact meal times can be a stressful, if not the most stressful time of the day for parents of a fussy eater.
We would all love our children to eat a variety of healthy meals, full of vegetables and protein. However meal times can become a time of dread rather than a happy fun time. If this sounds all too familiar, then you are not alone. It is a widespread issue affecting masses of families.
Before I had kids I never would have thought getting a child to eat their tea would be so difficult.
How naive I was.
As parents we have all read the articles about €˜dealing with fussy eaters', and they offer some sound advice.
One thing we have found that works in our house is MAKING FOOD FUN!
Our toddler went through a period of not eating lunch. She would dig her heels in, and then a few hours later she would be so hungry that her usual small snack would not satisfy her. This then messed up dinner time too.
So fast forward a few weeks of not eating lunch; the usual suggestions tried and failed; and toddler finds a pink Yumbox in my office. She wants it. So I let her choose what to put in it (within reason).
Her lunch then consisted of a variety of foods. Small portions of somewhat random items so I quickly found that for her, variety was key! So I dug out the play doh / food cutters and began to make cute little shapes out of food. Making faces, and little animals out of fruit and veg; and making sandwiches into shapes. Cutting a flower shape into cucumber is actually a really easy way to get the skin off!
I got slightly (very) addicted. To both making cute lunches for toddler and her actually showing an interest and more importantly; eating them. I made food art out of everything! There are so many fun ideas for lunches and food art on pintrest & facebook - take a look at our pages!
In my search for other fun food cutters I came across Funbites - a food cutter made and sold in America which makes bite sized food! I loved the idea and as they were not currently sold in the UK, I decided to import them to sell in my online shop. It was not a surprise that toddler loved them! They are really easy for her to use too, so she can get involved in making her food. They come in 3 different shapes - squares, triangles & heart shape (squares are our favourite).
We love making bite sized skewers and patterns using the different shapes.
Making food fun, and serving a variety of different foods has worked for us - that's not to say it will work for you - but as parents of fussy eaters know - anything is worth a try!
Yumbox, funbites and a variety of other accessories can be found in our online shop at www.beloandme.co.uk.