Monday, 3 December 2012
The frustration of fussy eaters
Most children go through the odd fussy eating stage every now and then, even those who for the most part are not fussy eaters generally. For the parent, it's frustrating when a meal is cooked and the child won't eat it. Even more so when you know it's a meal they've eaten and enjoyed many times previously!
I've been experiencing some of this fussy eating frustration myself lately. Now having two children and two palates to please makes it even harder sometimes. My daughter is teething and quite miserable with it so she is understandably a bit off her food. My son is usually a good eater but is going through a phase of turning his nose up at almost everything I put before him. If I can just get him to take a couple of bites, it's usually ok and he'll eat most or all of it, realising that lo and behold, his mother has cooked him something he likes!
A couple of friends have been lamenting of their mealtime challenges recently too. One friend was saying she wonders why she bothers cooking for her children when they would be happier if she served up oven chips and tinned spaghetti every night! Someone pointed out that her child ate everything until she started nursery and discovered that other children ate 'kid food'. She then demanded 'kid food' but her mother stood her ground and won her over eventually.
As if it is not hard enough deciding what to cook each night to accommodate everyone's tastes and nutritional needs, it's then additionally difficult having to negotiate getting the meal eaten without making an issue of it. Usually I like to provide some tips for readers, but to be honest I struggle with this myself.
I long for the days I can cook a meal, put it on the table and have everyone eat it and enjoy it without any hesitation. I know those days will come but in the meantime, I will have to deal with the frustration and keep cooking. I'm certainly not going to resort to chips and tinned spaghetti!
Have you been through a fussy eating phase lately with your child? How do you deal with it? If you have older children, when did mealtimes start getting consistently easier for you?