Little Learners Nurseries are very familiar with fussy eaters and often it can be difficult to meet every individual child’s needs! So, we decided to take a different approach to meal times and invite the children to have an active input into the food they eat. The result has been that their tastes (and appetites) have become much healthier!
We started to take a more hands on approach and now involve children with growing, washing, preparing and cooking their food. The children at Little Learners have been far more interested in tasting and eating the foods as a result of being more involved in the experience!
Are you having trouble with getting your child to try new foods? Our advice is to:
- Sit down and eat meals with your child, as they will be far more likely to mimic the way that you eat as they watch you enjoy different foods, even from a very young age!
- Take note of your child’s interests and opinions when planning meals, giving them an option of what they want to eat daily and helping them to feel involved in the decision.
- Encourage your child to help you buy, prepare and cook the food, or even grow the food too if you can (try growing herbs in a window pot for example)!
- Self-service- often children are more likely to eat their food if they put it onto their own plate. Being given a plate with lots of food can often be overwhelming.
- Avoid using sweets or fast-food as a reward for good behaviour; this can develop negative eating habits by reinforcing that these are more desirable than other foods when given for positive behaviour.
- Offer your child foods you know they don’t like- one day they might just surprise you and try it! If you don’t expose your child to different foods, they won’t ever gain the opportunity to try new things and find that they like them!