Are Your Kids Fussy Eaters Too?

So, my husband was a Chef before we opened Out of the Cot and I have always loved Food, the more interesting, the better.
We both grew up with lots of healthy different options, when it came to breakfast, lunch & dinner and yet….
We have 2 of the Fussiest Eaters I have ever met.
And the worst part, it is completely our own fault, the second worst bit is that they are fussy in exact opposite ways
so we have to make 2 meals & then struggle to get them to eat it, no matter what we put in front of them.

Master 6 “The Healthy Fussy”, Caleb is our eldest child & I blame him for us having this issue, as he is what I call Healthy Fussy.
From a very young age he loved vegetables, sushi, fruit, nuts and berries.
This was incredibly deceiving, as he always chose healthy options we didn’t vary his diet, he lived on broccoli, chicken (often in nugget form), sausages & other assorted veggies.
But by not offering lots of variety, he became unwilling to try new things & then just when we should have been encouraging new flavours, along came Miss Evie-Mae.
Dealing with the new dynamic of 2 children, (& just quietly why does no-one actually tell you just how much work an additional child is)
meant we let Caleb continue to eat what he wanted as it made our lives easier.
Introducing the “Starchy Fussy” Miss 3 is what I refer to as a carb addict! Potato, chips, crackers, toast, crumpets in-fact if its stodgy she’s bound to want it.

Now up until recently we have kind of let the unhealthy, unbalanced way the children eat, slide; but it’s reached the point where he have to do something about it.
It’s bad enough that Caleb’s diet is limited, but it’s really not good that Evie-Mae’s is high in calories and very low in nutrients.

Yes, we know what is required for a balanced diet but how do you get a 3 & 6 year old to change their eating patterns?
Well, my incredibly clever husband (yes I can give credit when credits due) came up with an idea & so far, so good.

The Basic Concept.
Both children are old enough to understand why they should be eating well, yet too old to simply eat what we offer,
Daddy thought, why not find a Kids Cookbook and let them choose meals they want to eat.
Great! Well, sort of. We looked for a couple of weeks in every book shop, newsagent and department store for a kids cookbook but no luck.
Every book we found was either cupcake & biscuit recipes, for cooking with your child, or breakfast, snack, lunch & dinner, which meant we only had a handful of actual meals for the kids to choose from.
We were almost at the point of putting together a book ourselves, when Ta-Da “The Women’s Weekly – Quick Family Meals” appeared on a shelf of a local news agency.
Now, whilst not exactly a Kids Cookbook it has over 100 simple, tasty & quick recipes which each has a lovely big colour photo – this was what we were looking for.

Our Rules.
We have kept the plan very simple. Each weekend both children get to choose 2 meals each from the book.
We mark the pages & then cook the meals over the next 7 days.
Both children have to eat what the other child has chosen & it’s fine if they don’t like it but they have to eat it this time & then we won’t cook that one again for at least 6 months.

The Results.
Well, I’d be lying if I said we haven’t had tears & tantrums but 6 weeks in,
we have children who have eaten Grilled Asian Vegies (a big hit) Chorizo Stew (not such a hit) & Chicken, Almond & Veg Stirfry (a new family fav).
But the biggest turnaround?
We now have children who greedily devour the kid staples, sausages with veggies or chicken, fish fingers etc, instead of complaining about every single meals we put down.
Also they are both eating the same meal as us 4 nights a week…
And whilst they are not yet ready to jump in & eat everything at least they are wholeheartedly eating some things…Things are looking up!

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