10 myths about fussy eating
MYTH #1: CHILDREN ARE NATURALLY FUSSY. WE JUST HAVE TO GRIN AND BEAR IT.
Children can have an innate preference for and wariness of certain foods – but it is our behaviour and reaction to our children’s eating that has the most powerful impact of all! That is what determines whether they become a fussy eater or not.
MYTH #2: IT’S JUST A PHASE. THEY’LL GROW OUT OF IT.
Many children do grow out of fussy eating – but often not until they’re in double figures. That’s thousands of stressy mealtimes to get through before then.
MYTH #3: I NEED TO FIND SOME GOOD RECIPES THAT THEY’LL EAT.
Trying new recipes and offering your child different meals is great, but it’s not a case of finding the ‘right’ food. Fussy eating doesn’t start because they don’t like the food. It starts when they realise it gets them huge amounts of power and attention!
MYTH #4: IT’S OKAY TO DO WHATEVER WORKS TO GET THEM TO EAT SOMETHING.
Encouraging, pestering, nagging, praising or bribing your child may get a few more peas or spoonfuls of rice into them – one slow, painful meal at at time – but you’re simply inviting them to an ongoing power battle. One they can win more easily than you!
MYTH #5: I NEED TO BUY CHILD-FRIENDLY FOOD.
Your child may enjoy carrot from a squeezy pouch or be enticed by Peppa Pig pasta, but these type of foods give them the message that children don’t – or can’t – eat the same food as adults. So they encourage, not discourage fussy eating.
MYTH #6: I NEED TO CUT OUT SNACKS SO THEY’RE HUNGRIER AT MEALTIMES.
This can make for one miserable, difficult-to-manage child in the lead-up to lunch or dinner – and therefore make mealtimes worse, not better.
MYTH #7: I NEED TO MAKE FOOD FUN.
A good dose of fun around food is a positive thing but making smiley faces with veg on top of a pizza or shaping mashed potato into a hedgehog won’t solve fussy eating. Kids soon twig that it’s just another way of trying to get them to eat something!
MYTH #8: THERE’S NO POINT IN GIVING MY CHILD A FOOD I KNOW THEY WON’T EAT. IT JUST GETS WASTED.
Quite the contrary. If they don’t even see a food, they can’t become familiar and comfortable with it – which is a vital step towards them actually eating it. The key is exposure, exposure, exposure. Keep giving them a tiny bit of a food whether they eat it or not. (Remember, they can’t eat a food that isn’t even there!)
MYTH #9: HIDING VEG IN A PASTA SAUCE OR SOUP IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD.
If we don’t give our children the opportunity to see and get used to vegetables ‘in the flesh’, we have no hope of them eating them. Adding veg to recipes for extra goodness is fine, but don’t do it as alternative to presenting vegetables boldly and proudly.
MYTH #10: I JUST NEED SOME REALLY GOOD TIPS.
There is no magic wand you can wave to stop fussy eating overnight. But ‘starting again’ with a fresh new approach at mealtimes, if put into practice with a 100% consistency and commitment, will work – and with a typical fussy eater usually only takes a few months. What’s that in the timescale of a whole childhood?!
Find out how to do it at stopfussyeating.com