I’ve blogged a few times about my kids and their eating habits (see this post, about the Fussy Eater’s Support Club) and we have tried many different strategies in order to get them interested in food. I know that the recent Nutella event I was invited to had promised to provide me with even more tips on getting them to eat but unfortunately the baby’s third dose of tonsilitis put paid to that. Besides, the baby is dairy free and so can’t even eat the stuff. I appreciated the gesture though, and after hearing what the psychologist had to say on the day, I decided I needed to look at my own habits around mealtimes too.
I wasn’t surprised to find that parental stress has a big impact on a child’s eating habits but I will say this in my defence- after all that we have been through with the baby and his health scares, refusal to feed, weight loss, reflux, allergies and intolerances, I defy ANY parent not to feel a little apprehensive at tea time. However, I know that things need to change and that change came around this weekend.
I was getting my regular fix of Masterchef, this time in the form of Junior Masterchef Australia and the big one was watching with me, in awe of the children who were cooking scrambled eggs. She decided that she wanted to make some too and so we trooped off to the kitchen where I taught her the simple task of cracking an egg and turning it into scrambled eggs- something she has always refused to eat. To cut a long story short, she ate them! And again the next morning for breakfast. And she’s eating them again now. Tomorrow we are going to make pancakes. Then she wants to learn how to make spaghetti bolognaise. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.
As a trainee teacher, I learnt all about the different styles of learning and how some kids like to be shown, some like to do, some like to listen. How else should I expect my kids to learn the joys of eating without first addressing all of this? So I will show them how to eat (we always sit as a family anyway), I will help them to learn how to make their meals and I will help them to enjoy doing it. We planted tomatoes, peppers, chillis, courgettes, nasturtium and basil yesterday. I’m hoping that seeing them grow and learning how to use them in cooking will inspire too.
For what its worth, the baby has now started to eat some different foods too and so slowly but surely we seem to be progressing… watch this space!