The Jam Tart Tray Dinner!
One of the key things to do to conquer (and prevent) fussy eating is to keep exposing your child to a wide variety of foods – and the ‘Jam Tart Tray Dinner’ is a wonderfully fun way to do this!
Once in a while, for dinner or lunch (perhaps on a back-to-school-Sunday-night, while they’re watching a film, or when you’re too shattered to feel like cooking!) take a jam tart tray and fill each hollow with a different food. Rootle around in your fridge and cupboards and make it as colourful and varied as you can.
Most of the foods should be ones they are familiar with, and it’s good to include one or two sweet foods – but most important of all, make sure you put in a couple of wild cards! Foods they have never encountered on their own plate before. Smoked salmon? Passion fruit? Pickled onions? Hedgehog flavour crisps? Or simply a different type of apple to the one they usually insist on.
Then, before you let them tuck in, tell them in a light-hearted way there are just two (very important!) rules about how you eat a Jam Tart Tray Dinner:
1. It’s entirely up to them what they eat and don’t eat (no pressure at all!) but they mustn’t remove any foods from the tray.
2.They can eat the foods in any order and combo they like – sweet foods before (or with!) the savoury foods is absolutely fine.
Just seeing, smelling, touching a food is the first step to making it a familiar and ‘safe’ food for them to eat. You shouldn’t point out the new foods and tell them what they are unless they ask you – in which case simply tell them in a straightforward, neutral way. Never add comments like, “It’s really nice”, “Try a bit” or “Mummy loves it” for them to rebel against!
Now leave them to explore and enjoy it in their own way…
Find out why EXPOSURE to foods is so important in the fight against fussy eating here.