I know all about this. Meika has had me at my wits end with anxiety raging at every meal. That was up until about 8 months ago. Because of my anxiety around Meika’s gut issues and poor weight gain when things weren’t as they are today, I’d always cave at the end and give her the foods I know she would eat. I did this even though I knew they weren’t serving her. They were getting in the way of her reaching optimal health.
We went to speech pathologists, occupational therapists, Dietician’s, nutritionists. While they had our best interest at heart, we didn’t have much luck with their suggestions.
These are some things that have helped us.
Get them involved.
Once old enough, get your kids involved in the whole process. This is probably earlier than you imagine. From shopping at the farmers market or supermarket, to prepping and cooking in the kitchen. Meika absolutely loves the whole process and enjoys the food a lot more when she has played a part in creating it. It’s actually fun for all involved and quality time well spent.
If they aren’t old enough to be hands on, pop their high chair near the bench as you prep the food and chat about the process and how yummy and nutritious all the food is as you make it.
Grow your own and teach them skills for life
Grow food with them. Be it in pots on the deck or in a veggie patch. Getting them involved in the growing process, from seed to seedlings, watering, nurturing and harvesting. It’s such a great activity and you are teaching them skills for life. Check out Family Garden Life for ideas and inspiration.
Make subtle changes each week
If you have the luxury of time, implement small changes to their diet each week. Try new foods and gradually take some of the less nutritious foods out of the diet as you build up the other. Don’t be afraid to introduce more interesting foods. A lot of fussy eaters I know love sushi and smoked salmon for example.
Of course if you don’t have the time, don’t keep the foods you want them to skip in the house. They can’t eat if if you don’t have it. A big step, they may be tantrums, but you will break the cycle if you don’t have ol’ faithful on hand. In our case it was rice crackers and rice cakes.
Be a sly fox
Hide those veggies wherever you can. Sneak steamed then frozen cauliflower and all the greens into yummy smoothies. Make veggie fritters and meat balls with lots of nutritious veg. Here’s a blog I wrote about how to get your kids to eat bone broth – you’ll get the idea from here.
Stay cool honey bunny!
Never get too fired up or angry at meal time (I know you’re probably at your wits end, that’s why you are reading this). If you feel like you’re going to crack it with your fussy eater, just excuse yourself and go skull a glass of wine in the pantry lol. Then return when you have calmed down. You don’t want them to associate meal time with parents that are losing their s*#t!
If you don’t have the luxury of time to get your little ones to eat wholesome, healing foods, meaning they are unwell and you need to cut out foods straight away, or, you are just totally ready to make a change. You’re just shaking your head about my suggestions above and how they will not work for you. Leave your email below in the form and I’ll keep you informed about my fussy eating program launching in 2019.
I was able to get Meika eating the nourishing foods I wanted her to, and cutting out the crap, within three weeks. It took three weeks because I implemented the ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) extremely gently – my way, with pre-planning and coaching Meika to a place where she took to it, to a level that was beyond my wildest expectations. I was only kicking myself for not trying it sooner. I want to help you do the same.
On my program, if you stick to it, you can get your child eating the diet you want within 4 weeks max, depending on how quickly you choose to implement the program.
Do you want change? Are you tired of the anxiety and stress that comes with every meal time? Are you ready to step up and put some proven procedures in place with a gentle guide from someone who’s been there before when nothing else worked?
Drop your email and I’ll be in touch soon.
In the meantime – hang in there! Try the ideas mentioned above. I know how tough it can be. You can turn things around!