A guilty mum’s manifesto for fussy eaters

i will only eat biscuits

Fussy Little Bastards – what a freaking awesome name for a blog! I’ve recently found Beck’s blog, Fussy Little Bastards, and it has fast become one of my favourite reads. I can totally relate to Beck’s humour, she has fantastic recipes that kids WILL eat, and I have realised I am not alone in the struggle to get kids to eat food! I loved her post, A guilty mum’s manifesto for fussy eaters, so much, Beck has happily come on board as a guest post blogger just for you!

A Guilty Mum’s Manifesto For Fussy Eaters – by Fussy Little Bastards

Having a fussy eater almost literally kills parents. The guilt is the worst, is it our fault? What could we have done differently? Is everyone judging me? How did I end up being so inadequate? Will the child starve? Will the child have bendy bones because they won’t drink a kale and goats’ milk smoothie?

DO NOT PANIC

Your kid certainly will not die, many kids have lived on buttered toast and diced dried apricots for months on end and they are FINE.

i will only eat biscuits

DO NOT YELL

It just makes everyone feel worse (you more than anyone, especially afterwards, promise) and it does not get results, it just means the kid gets yelled at on top of not eating. It also means everyone dreads mealtimes.

 

STOP BLAMING YOURSELF

Being picky seems to be hard wired into many kids, its not your fault – it’s the way its meant to be for toddlers and some kids take longer to grow out of it, sure there are “ways” to get it to happen, and when you are feeling stronger after giving yourself a break from the stress, then you can implement the judgemental nutritionist, superior child psychologist, family member or well meaning friend’s advice.

 

STOP LISTENING TO OTHERS

Lots of people give you advice about it, they can’t help themselves. Say to them “I have tried everything, but thanks for your advice, we are just going to go with this for now”.

 

GET YOUR PARTNER ON THE SAME PAGE

Have a little chat about this so behaviour across the management committee is the same. You don’t want one person being the yeller and one person trying to stop the yeller. It’s a bad look, and a bad feel. Ask me how I know.

 

HAVE A BACK BONE OR HAVE A BACK UP

I know that everyone is going to want to shoot me for this but if you can’t bear send your little Muppet away hungry have a tiny sized portion of a really bland bit of food you know they will eat ready, it can be as simple as a plain piece of white bread or a banana. I suggest you don’t go to the trouble of making something else, we don’t want the little dictators to see that if they don’t eat what we first make, another 3 course meal will magically appear, because a) its not fair on us and b) who could be arsed? For the rest of us that are a bit tougher (I have been in this camp now for a few years, its easier), particularly those with older kids, tell them it’s the dinner or its starvation, a surprising number of them will happily go to bed hungry rather than eat the food you worked so hard to cook. Mine do it sometimes. Tough.

 

TRY TO HAVE A LOOSE PLAN

Write down everything your kid WILL eat, including breakfast and lunch and snack stuff. Don’t include junk food but the basis for sensible meals. Weetbix counts. Sandwiches count. Biscuits do not count. Yoghurt that is so sweet it tastes like lollies does not count. Work these items into a meal plan. If you can get a different meal each day for a week, bravo, if you find you get to the end of all the things that Tarquin can eat after 3 days, just put it on repeat. Make sure you have the stuff for all of that on hand at all times. Just rotate until you regroup enough to try to figure out how to break their spirited eating habits.

 

REMEMBER

It gets better. And nobody told me about this either.

About Fussy Little Bastards:

My name is Chef Beck, and I have 3 kids ranging in ages from 9 to 20.

I have always struggled with children that have limited palates, and the extraordinary guilt that comes with that, self blame and nutritional paranoia. It has been tough to try to get them to broaden their culinary horizons as well as attempt to cook for us grown ups with actual taste buds.

As we are nearing the end of many years of mealtime anguish, I hope my experiences will be useful to parents of fussy kids that are tearing their hair out. IT WILL PASS! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Connect with Fussy Little Bastards:

Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest

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7 thoughts on “A guilty mum’s manifesto for fussy eaters

  1. I love this. I have fussy eaters but not too bad considering and they are often sent to bed hungry if they refuse dinner but will usually eat one thing (my youngest will eat the meat, my oldest will eat the potatoes). Part of our issue is laziness! They’ll eat it if we spoon feed it to them but are too lazy to do it themselves for long. Grr.

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  2. Some really good points there! I am one of the lucky few parents, as my son is quite good with his eating. He has some things he doesn’t like, but generally I can get him to eat most stuff. It would be so hard to have a fussy eater.

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  3. Charlie goes through phases of eating just toast, or eating everything (he was grabbing strawberries unwashed out of the container before we’d even bought them yesterday). I don’t worry no matter what phase he’s in because I was THE fussiest eater on the planet as a kid. The kind of fussy eater who goes to every specialist under the sun. None of the specialists worked, none of the strategies my mum employed worked but what did work was leaving me alone and letting me do my thing and over the years I got better and better and now I’m fine. So hopefully he will be too.

    Apparently it all goes tits up when they hit 2 in terms of fussiness, so I have that to look forward to!! 🙂

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  4. Top tips right there – what a great mealtime manifesto! Thanks for linking up with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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