If you present your child with a beautifully colourful, perfectly balanced plate of food at every meal and they willingly gobble it all down – wow, consider yourself extremely blessed!
But if not, try not to sweat it. This is very common for all children, not just the nearly 40% who are identified as ‘fussy’ at some point.
Of course, in a perfect world this fantasy recommended by many nutritionists would undoubtedly be ideal. But in reality, many children just do not have the appetite, stomach space, inclination or attention span to do this.
Instead, if they are left to their own devices they will eat what their body needs over a period of DAYS or WEEKS.
Being constantly bombarded with ‘health’ messages and warnings and ideals from the media makes TRUSTING this mega hard. We worry, we compare, we get stressed and frustrated – and so begins the cycle of bribing, coercing, pleading and distracting our child to ‘get’ them to eat.
And unfortunately, not only does this not tend to work very well, it also starts a pattern of control and emotion becoming associated with eating. It takes children further and further away from their innate ability to listen to their body, express their unique likes and dislikes and enjoy the process of nourishing their bodies as is their birthright.
And crucially, it also puts them at increased risk of disorderly eating and related mental health issues in the future.
I promise you that the short term gain of ‘getting’ them to clear their plate or eat a particular random vegetable or food group is soo not worth the longer term consequences of doing this.
HI! I'M DR. NICOLA FARR
I'm a mama of 3 and a parenting coach specialising in picky eating and mealtime stress.
I'm passionate about inspiring parents to enjoy mealtimes & help their children develop a healthy long-term relationship with food.
DO YOU HAVE A FUSSY EATER? ARE YOU FED UP WITH MEALTIMES?
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