Welcome back to the part of my blog where I talk about Noah’s fussy eating, how it breaks my heart, and how I’m trying to overcome it! (I do hope I’m not sounding like a stuck record?!)
I think for parents – fussy eating is definitely an emotional one. As a mum, I naturally want to give Noah the best food. So when he refuses and will only eat beige carbs – of course I worry.
I am lucky enough to work on lots of projects with Organix – and because they know about Noah’s fussiness, they invited us along to a lovely workshop all about exactly this!
The workshop was run by a WONDERFUL woman called Lucy Thomas, who’s a child food expert. Not only has she been doing this for years and worked with some very poorly children in hospital, but she also has a very fussy daughter – so she knows how hard it is!
I learned SO much from the session – and I want to share it with you, so I’m going to break it down into points:
- For us personally, Lucy thinks Noah may have missed the ‘first tastes’ window between 6 and 8 months. During this time he had bronchiolitis and was poorly for ages and totally went off solids. I always felt that his attitude to food rapidly changed after this, and this could be an explanation.
- Lucy also asked me if Noah suffered with reflux. The answer was YES and he was on medication for it for a few months. This could also be a reason he struggles with food and opts for dry, bland things.
- Let children play with their food – despite what our parents generation may think, Lucy reinforced what I already knew – that’s it’s great for babies and toddlers to play with food! Here are some of the exercises we did:
- Carrot toothbrushes – Lucy encouraged all the children to copy her and brush their teeth with carrot sticks.
- Courgette slices – Lucy sang songs and got the children to pick up, lick, kiss and bite the raw courgette. This was not an exercise with the aim of getting the children to eat it, but play with it.
- Stirring soup – Lucy made an AMAZING lettuce soup. She sangs songs with the children about stirring and then encouraged them to lick the spoon. I nearly fell off my chair when Noah actually did! He didn’t go as far as to actually eat much of it, but trying it is a huge triumph for us.
- Fruit fingers – Lucy got the children to draw round their hands (or get mums to help them!) and she then placed raspberries at the end of each finger on the plate. Noah was having a meltdown by this point so didn’t play along – but the other children did! Even ones who usually refused all fruit.
4. Change environments – I’d read this before, but only tried it a couple of times. Lucy really emphasised the importance of not always feeding babies and toddlers in the same place. This can build up negative associations. Rather than always feeding in a highchair in the kitchen for example, you could try the garden, a picnic in the living room, or even the bath!
(Here is a little chat with the lovely Lucy – she has 3 top tips for fussy eaters. Please excuse the sound quality, it was filmed in a very noisy room and Noah was fussing next to us.)