Here’s how to get your discerning diner to show more enthusiasm around mealtimes. By Lisa Witepski
Mealtimes can be a true trauma for parents of fussy eaters. Here’s how some Living and Loving moms have overcome the challenge of a child who’s simply not interested in food:
We have a “worst first” rule.
Once the kids have eaten the thing they dislike most, they can move on. They don’t have to eat all of it, but they have to at least taste it. – Nicole
We watch cooking videos on YouTube.
Then we make them ourselves. The kids actually love eating the food because they feel so proud. – Nadia
I grate veggies into my muffins.
It’s the best way to get the kids to eat their greens; in fact, they’re only too happy to do so because they think they’re getting a treat! – Claire
I organise dinner dates.
My child is far happier to eat when there is someone to eat with her. It works particularly well if the dinner “guest” is someone like an older cousin who she really wants to impress. – Christine
My trick is to make sure everything tastes good!
I would never expect my children to eat something if I wouldn’t enjoy eating it myself. – Martina
We leave our kids to eat until they’re hungry.
I don’t think it’s healthy to do otherwise – that’s when issues around food start. – Marth-El
To “trick” our kids into eating healthy foods, we make sure there aren’t any sweets around the house.
That means that when she wants to snack, her choices include fruit and veg, simple biscuits and nuts. We also make a point of all eating together and have basic rules around mealtimes: no crying and no yelling at the table. If she needs to, she can take a time out and come back to the table when she has calmed down. – Lisa
We make mealtimes fun and exciting by always introducing new foods and recipes.
That way, the kids get to eat the rainbow and they get used to experimenting with new flavours – it’s not always the same old thing. – Pola
Get the kids involved
I find the kids are more likely to eat if they’ve helped prepare it. – Elaine
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.