Parenting | Lifestyle | Wellbeing | Mental Health

Is your 3 year old a fussy eater?

Jack has always been a pretty good eater since we started to wean him from 6 months. He was not a puree kind of kid due to his awful reflux so we were naturally guided towards baby led weaning, which he took to amazingly! Since then, he has only really gone off his food when he was teething, feeling a bit under the weather or over tired. So when he suddenly started going off the foods he had always enjoyed e.g. chicken nuggets, toast, pizza, cheese, basically the ‘usual’ kiddy things, I was a bit taken a back. My initial thought is that he is feeling a bit poorly and had been a bit sick fairly recently so I just put it down to that. However, we are three months on and he STILL doesn’t like foods that he used to quite happily gorge on!

Now, I’m extremely fortunate that my boy has always enjoyed fruit and vegetables, and still does, however he has become extremely fussy with meat, carbs e.g. potato and pasta, and even snacks. For this reason, I find I am having constant battles with trying to find something to satisfy his appetite. I’ve heard people say pick your battles, and I do, but it is wearing a little thin, especially as I am weaning an 11 month old. Not only that, one day he will eat something like chicken nuggets, yet when they are dished up another day he turns round and says that “they are not for him, and that he doesn’t like them”. Aside from all this, I have now come to the conclusion that a full, content and happy child is a win. Like I said earlier, I’ve no problems with fruit, veg or dairy, just the other food groups, oh and lumpy sauces! He will eat fish fingers, noodles, spaghetti hoops, plain pasta, lasagne and that’s pretty much it.

Spaghetti Bolognese

So, after 3 months of experimenting, I have learnt to be a little creative with what I dish up. For example, he likes pasta and likes plain bolognese sauce without lumps. Except my sauce isn’t just a plain old tomato sauce, no no no. I have hidden sweetcorn, onion, mushroom and mince beef in it. How, well by putting it in the blender and making a smooth, non-lumpy very tasty sauce version! Not only does he like it but the whole family enjoy it (the grownups have it in its original form). Win win!

Oh, another thing I have learnt is to not always give him the option of whats for dinner. Most days I just serve up a dish that I know he will mostly eat, with a side portion of something he may or may not eat that day. I have also found that if I feed the boys together, at the same time, it encourages them both to eat better. I never in a million years thought meal times would be such a pain in my derriere!

 

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