This is an example of one Mum with a fussy eater, who I started working with recently. Lets call her Mary and she has 3 kids, aged 10, 8 and 6.
What kind of foods do you like to eat?
I’m a healthy eater myself and love to eat. Fuelling the body and good nutrition is very important to me and for my family.
Have you a fussy eater at home?
Yes my 10 year old is definitely a fussy eater. He would happily eat just bagels and jam, as well as sausages on a white roll with ketchup, attached is his 3 day food log below. Also he’s definitely not open to any ‘new or different foods’ and if I put anything like this on the table, there’s lots of complaining.
Has your child’s eating changed over time?
My boy was a good eater and had good variety in his diet for his first two years. After his sister came along, he started point blank refusing to eat what was offered. This was of course the toddler in him asserting his independence. But it was easier at the time to give him an alternative such as chicken nuggets and chips. While I stopped doing this ages ago, I think it had long-term effects on his eating.
How does your boy’s eating (or lack of eating) affect you and the rest of the family?
My eldest boy’s eating definitely has a knock-on effect on his younger siblings so that they end up eating less healthy. My middle child for example would happily eat foods such as stew on his own, when my eldest isn’t around. Even when I serve familiar meals, there is still complaining about meals. It’s like complaining about food especially meals has become normalised in our home – it’s been going on so long.
What do you think are some of the obstacles that parents face to seeking help for their picky eaters or fussy eaters?
I think for lots of parents they just accept fussy eating as a phase. They are so glad that their child will eat anything at all, that they just end up offering what they know they will definitely eat- the same foods repeatedly. They also hope their children will just grow out of this fussy eating, in time.
Why did you contact Growing Healthy Eaters for help?
I wanted to support my growing boy as best I can, before he becomes a teenager and becomes more independent making more of his own choices at secondary school. But I didn’t know what to do to help him. And I just want to have dinner ‘without the battles’.