Fussy Eating Toddlers with Jenny Hale

Episode 23 fussy eating


Jenny Hale is a Parenting Coach from The Parenting Place.

Eating is a big emotional area where we as parents get invested. It can feel so much easier to get out the chicken nuggets and have them eat it or give them a bottle of formula so they don't go to bed hungry.

In this chat, we talked about how sensitive children who are thrown by anything different often have a bigger hurdle to climb when it comes to eating because they are more suspicious.

We can end up walking on egg shells to keep them happy and try to lead them into loving their food but by negotitating and talking about it all the time it can feel like we are putting pressure on them.

Jenny talked about how kids are researchers who pick up patterns and are very observant. They watch what happens in a situation and they know the predictable patterns. Children fit into the "food dance" where it can end up with the same dance steps - ending with them given different food from what the family is eating. 

Ideas for getting more veges into their diet:

+ Enjoy vegetables and express how much you like them as you are eating with your child

+ Grow some veges at home and pick some so your child sees the connection between garden and table

+ Have some veges available before dinner if they are hungry while you are cooking dinner. This sub meal breaks it down into something smaller so it's not so overwhelming when they sit down to eat dinner.

+ Grate the veges into their meal

+ Keep offering veges at least 18 offerings. Don't make a big deal about it keep it light and lovely. You don't need to change what you are offering because your child is refusing it.

If we have got into the pattern where our child will only eat a selected food group(s):

+ change our language around it. We often talk kids into it by what we say. Watch what you say around food when your child is listening.

+ Offer something in a meal that they can eat so we are not going into a battle zone. Keep it light. 

+ Offer a trying plate to sample and eat that is separate

It is tempting to set up dessert as a reward. Move away from dessert become part of a deal. Try to avoid sweet things being the best food group. 

Child easily sniff out control. 

Keep the atmosphere light and move away from negotiating deals. Make eating dinner a time to connect and chat about the day rather than a battle ground. 

You can grab a copy of Jenny's book here: https://looloo.co.nz/products/kind-firm-calm-parenting-book

You can work with Jenny to get some help and support with your parenting journey here: https://parentingplace.nz/coaching

If you enjoyed this episode check out our previous episode with Jenny: https://looloo.co.nz/blogs/news/parenting-together-with-your-partner

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