Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Fussy Eater

Our children can test us at some stage in their lives when it comes to eating or not eating the food we make or buy for them.  As a parent we all like to feel we have the time and the patience to cook every meal for them from scratch and with organic ingredients. I know myself this is how I started off with my daughter, Keely, it was all organic vegetables and I made every meal from scratch. We then received information about a new brand of packet pureed vegetables which were convenient, organic and 100% vegetables. Once Keely had these a few times she no longer ate my vegetables that I made so in turn I tried desperately to copy the recipe to the exact percentages.  Although I could never get it to taste the same to her and I reverted back to the packet.

My daughter at the age of 3 was eating pureed vegetables from a packet, with cous cous and she was happy enough to eat it every night. I however was feeling like I was not being the best mother and wondering where did it all go wrong, should I have never started the convenient vegetables? Now with determination and a 6 month old who was about to start solids I thought it was now time to put my energy into getting Keely into eating a whole range of foods. Well that was the plan; we all have one or several and I know that I will be tested again when it comes to food. I don't necessarily believe I did it wrong, my daughter has eaten vegetables almost every night of her eating life and that cannot be wrong!

To help my fussy eater turn into a "normal" eater I have made a chart with 10 boxes that are numbered. Keely and I cut out pictures of food out of magazines that I would like her to eat and she decorated her chart with them. They were pictures out of my husband's Donna Hay magazines, which he does not know anything about, yet!  We were armed with stickers and food ideas to quickly fill the chart so Keely could have her prize, which she chose to be a barbie doll.  We made and cooked meals together, making faces, animals and anything with food to build up the appeal.

We finished the chart and Keely has her Barbie, along with a few little barbie accessories along the way. Keely now eats red meat, chicken, rice, pizzas (homemade of course), soft boiled eggs with soldiers, apples on occasion, strawberries if I am lucky, fish fingers, ricotta and vegetable tarts, mashed potato and my very own vegetables that are not pureed! I am no expert when it comes to fussy eaters or raising children, but I am a mum who wants to be the "best mum" to my children. 

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