I have based my findings on years of research with my own fussy eater toddler child. Do not attempt these tactics with other people’s fussy eater children or with fussy eater adults due to ethical reasons.
Also you can just tell the fussy eater adult to sod off and never come for tea again.
Firstly : Lower your expectations. Starting each day assuming your fussy eater child will not eat anything they are given means you will be pleasantly surprised when they eat a spoonful of chocolate cake last thing before bedtime.
Don’t put a lot of effort into making anything you would be upset to see thrown against a wall or tipped down a toilet.
Don’t try and work out the formula of what will make a fussy eater eat a certain food. There is no formula. It is a complete random set of serendipitous sporadic stimuli that will work one moment of one day – usually never to be repeated.
Don’t attempt a restrictive diet yourself during this time. A woman can’t be expected to abstain from carbs when she’s forced to sit in front of hot buttered toast for an hour.
Watching your child ignore it and refuse to eat it will make you want to scream “You don’t know you’re born!” before rubbing the toast over your face and toasting the rest of the loaf for yourself using your hands to eat Lurpack while you’re waiting.
Compromise. Let them have it the way they want it. It may make you gag to eat stone cold baked beans, but they like it that way so just go with it.
Lie. I’m sure there are lots of ethical reasons why you shouldn’t lie about what you are feeding a person. But they’re your kids. They’re your fussy eater. So lie.
“Yes darling, this is Peppa pig yogurt (semolina) and this is Peppa pig yogurt (sweet potato mash) oh, and look at this amazing Peppa pig yogurt (humous).”
Any new food is a victory, even if technically it’s a Ritz cracker. It’s a new food group! “There you go, dip it in your Peppa pig yogurt son!”
Always remain poised for spontaneous regurgitation.
Especially if you’ve tried to conceal a healthy foodstuff under the usual crap. You play with fire – you’re going to get spewed on.
Try to find the positive in anything they will eat. “He ate lemon cake, so that’s one of his five a day.” “He ate the breadcrumbs on a fish finger – so thats Omega something isn’t it?” “He ate baked beans so he must be over his, ‘I only eat beige things’ phase!”
Tell yourself every day that this is just a phase and they won’t grow up to be one of those “freaky eaters” who will only eat ready salted crisps and diet lemonade.
It’s not like it’s hereditary … I have no problem eating anything. Except Oysters, ooh… wonder if he’ll give an oyster a go? Maybe if I hide it in a Peppa pig yogurt.
Block out all memories of how you used to imagine pre kids that your children would eat what they were given. Especially fruit and veg! You weren’t to know you were being a tit.