If you are wondering how to deal with a fussy eater while on your healthy eating plan then today we have some tips and meal ideas designed to persuade the fussiest of fussy eaters into trying some healthy foods
Keep trying it
A child can take up to 10 tastes of a food before they decide if they like it or not.
So if you’ve offered carrots on Monday with no luck, try again on Thursday and see how you go.
Pop them on their plate and just see what happens. If they’re still getting rejected, try again the next week. Persistence is key.
Some kids are encouraged to try new things by seeing others do the same. So have the whole family try the particular food and make a fuss of how much they like it.
If you need to, encourage someone they admire (a good friend or relative) to mention how much they love the food and see if that helps.
Cook it a new way
For some kids it’s the way the food feels in their hands or mouth that they don’t like.
So if your child won’t eat carrot sticks, why not try offering them roasted carrots, or even carrot puree with cumin added?
A new experience with a food means that you might just win the battle and find a way to get the vegetables in without a fight. Here are some more ideas to try:
- Pumpkin – try roasted wedges, pumpkin mash, or soup. You can also try mixing it with a favourite such as potato when you make mash.
- Broccoli – try steaming it rather than boiling as it keeps its fresh green colour and flavour. Chop it up small and add it to a risotto or Bolognese. You can also puree steamed broccoli with a little natural yoghurt or cottage cheese to make a healthy dip.
- Beetroot – try raw sliced, roasted, or even as a dip. Try our simple Beetroot and Butter Bean Dip from our Healthy Kids Recipe Book. Drain and rinse a 400g tin of baby beetroots as well as a 400g tin of butter beans. Pop in the blender and puree until smooth.
- Cauliflower – try making faux rice by grating a cauliflower and then covering with plastic wrap and cooking in the microwave for 6-7 minutes. You can also try steaming it, making cauliflower cheese, or even roast it in chunks in the oven with your roast chicken.
Make it a fun experience
Why not have a little fun with the food and see if that will tempt the little people to try something new?
- Have a picnic in the garden and put all the food on a platter to share
- Place the food in little kid friendly containers to eat at the beach or park
- Try eating with ladles instead of spoons; tongs instead of forks; or straws instead of hands – have a laugh and see if the relaxed environment will encourage a taste test of something new.
Check out our Healthy Kids Recipe Book for more FUN ideas such as:
- Fruit dipping station
- Healthy fairy bread
- Zucchini and carrot chequers
- Sweet and savoury homemade popcorn
- Frozen banana pops
Pop it in something they do like
While it’s not ideal to hide vegetables from your kids, sometimes us mums need to be creative! So if you can find ways to sneak veggies into the kids current faves, why not try it.
- Sausage rolls – instead of meat, try making spinach and ricotta filo rolls. Not many kids would say that they like spinach, but giving it to them in a format they love can certainly encourage them to try it. You can grab the recipe for this in our Healthy Kids Recipe Book.
- Spag Bol – instead of just onion and tomato, why not grate some carrot or zucchini to throw in? You could also add some finely chopped cabbage. The veggies will cook down and might then avoid being too ‘in your face’ for a fussy eater with an eagle eye.
- Ice cream – whip up some homemade ice creams by blending natural yoghurt with some pureed apple, pear or raspberries. Freeze in ice block trays or just use a regular ice cube tray.
- Dip – once it’s all blended up and served with crunchy carrot sticks, kids might not even remember to ask what’s in it. Start with a simple hummus recipe (grab the recipe from our Healthy Kids Recipe Book) and then you can add a pureed veggie of your choice. Think roasted beetroot, baby spinach and mint leaves, or steamed carrots.
- Rissoles – similarly to Bolognese, burgers or rissoles are a good place to add some extra healthy food. Blitz some chickpeas or kidney beans and throw those in; very finely chop some steamed spinach and fold that through the mince. Even a handful of peas with some fetta will add some additional vitamins and minerals for the kids.
- Cake – yes that’s right – cake! Our Healthy Chocolate Cake contains both zucchini and beetroot but you’d never know it.
- Smoothies – you can also sneak in plenty of goodness by blending up a healthy smoothie for a child-friendly meal. Throw in some baby spinach or avocado for a fun ‘green alien smoothie’ or even add some beetroot to a berry smoothie for an extra whack of nutrition.
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