Top tips for fussy eaters
If your little one can be picky when it comes to what goes into their lunchbox, then don’t worry you’re not alone.
We know it can be frustrating, but staying calm and making things fun can make a big difference.
Keep it simple
It’s best to start with small steps, so if you know your kid will only eat a jam sandwich then use that as a starting point.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated design. Use stuff from around the house, like a vegetable peeler, apple corer or cookie cutter to turn the sandwich into a face. By adding some grape eyes and a cucumber-moon mouth, that’s already two more tasty things they’re eating.
Feed their imagination
Your kids love being creative, so inject some of this fun into their lunchtimes – think of their packed lunch as it’s own little world waiting to be explored. Picture the surprise on their face when they open their lunch box to a Ty Ham Asaurus Rex Sandwich surrounded by broccoli trees – how could they resist?
Play with your food
Forget what you were taught. Trying out the different types, textures and smells of food isn’t just fun – it can make new food a lot less scary. See how blogger, Fritha and her son, Wilf, got creative with some tasty sandwich art.
Scientists say that a child has to try something over 8 times1 before they start to like it – so stick with it. Never force them to eat, as this will add to their anxieties, instead encourage them to just try a bite of everything on the plate, and praise them for it. Or, turn your back for a few moments and pretend to be busy – they may surprise you and try it when they think you aren’t looking.
Let them give it a go
It’s their lunch, so get them involved from start to finish. In the supermarket they can pick an item of food they’ve never tried before, or grow something together (even something easy like watercress to go in these Cheese and cress muffins).
They can also help prepare their school lunch. Get the younger kids tearing up salad leaves, or give older ones a plastic grater and some cheese. All of this will get them excited to tuck into new and delicious food.