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Want to prevent your baby from growing up to become a fussy-eater? Then encourage them to feed themselves from a young age, suggest experts.
Scientists from Otago University studied 206 mums and their babies to see whether there was a link between baby-led weaning and weight control.
But while they found no link between the two, they did find that babies who fed themselves, rather than being spoon-fed, showed more enjoyment in eating food between the ages of one and two.
What’s more, the study found these babies were also willing to try new foods.
Professor Rachael Taylor, who co-led the study, says: “If you are giving kids a variety of different tastes and textures – that messy but enjoyable exploration of food – it is quite different from giving them a bland [diet].
“You think babies won’t like spicy foods, but taste is a learned behaviour. The last thing you want is a fussy kid.”
However, it’s not know whether these babies continued to eat the same after the age of two.
Mum shares her tips for dealing with fussy eating boys
This lovely mama says she used to cooking two to three different dinner-time meals in the past to keep her family happy! Talk about being a busy-mama.
Emma Doonan is mum to three young boys and she says they are all fussy eaters – and meal time can be a MASSIVE challenge!
“Meal time can be a huge challenge in our house,” Emma admits. “In the past, I have cooked two and three meals to keep everyone happy, which is just nuts.
“The boys all have their favourite foods and they are very reluctant to try new foods.” Goodness, you are not alone Em! We too are familiar with the pickiness of little ones. Hence why we created our Healthy Kids Chocolate Smoothie Mix!
However, this incredible mum-of-three says along the way, she has discovered a few handy techniques to encourage her kiddies to try new things! And so far she’s seeing great progress.
Emma’s top tips for mums with fussy eaters
1. Get your kids involved
“The biggest thing I have changed is getting the boys involved in mealtime food preparation,” Emma says.
“I’ve always loved cooking and have cooked for the boys since they were babies, but I never really got them involved in the food prep and cooking process. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot quicker and less messy when I do it myself, but where’s the fun in that?”
2. Cook earlier in the evening / afternoon
Emma reveals she now starts prepping her meals earlier in the day.
“I don’t want it to be a rush at dinner time when everyone is hungry. I have the boys help me so I need to make sure we have enough time to prep,” Emma says. “They love cracking eggs, mincing garlic, measuring and mixing ingredients and collecting ingredients from the pantry and fridge.
“When they are involved they are a lot more open to eating the meal, as they helped make it.”
3. Let your kids ‘play’ with their food
“Have them smell, taste and touch the ingredients for a while,” says Emma. “They will be more open to new things when they have a better idea of the food they are making by playing with it.”
4. I let my kids have a say in meal time
Emma generally asks her kids what they want to eat for dinner.
“If I’m cooking a stir fry then I ask them which veggies they would like to go in and have them collect it from the fridge.”
5. I make sure I eat a wider variety of food
From Emma’s experience, kids learn to eat from what their parents are eating. So, she always tries to eat a wide variety of different healthy food to set a good example for them.
“We all eat dinner together and we also try need foods together. Last week, we purchased a dragon fruit and all had a piece.”
What great tips, Emma! It’s fantastic to see your boys helping out in the kitchen and taking an interest in food. We will be SURE to get our own kids helping in the kitchen.
Got a fussy eating kiddie? Try our Kids Chocolate Smoothie!
The Healthy Kids Smoothie has been specially made as a healthy snack for kids and is ideal if you have fussy eaters or want to ensure your children have a nutritious and healthy smoothie snack.
It also has a 4.5 Health Star Rating when made with skim milk. It contains NO added sugars.
- The Healthy Mummy Kids Smoothie is rich in carbohydrates and protein and is a natural energy packed smoothie made for kids.
- It contains 16 essential vitamins and minerals and when combined with milk, provides children with 50% of their Calcium RDI.
- It also contains probiotics needed for healthy guts and is free from fructose.