This challenge seems to be prevalent from the minute they start on solids. There are easy days and difficult ones where they seem to wolf down everything in sight or sit there sullen, mouth clamped, refusing to take a bite.
So what’s the answer, the key to enticing them to eat a healthy balanced meal? My daughter is now 3 and half. I’ve read and tried Annabel Karmel’s recipes and tips which sometimes work but for me the most effective thing to do is make eating time part of ‘play time’. Here are a couple of tactics which work for me:
1. Food facts
My daughter responds positively to imaginative storytelling or even real facts told in an imaginative way! So last week she ate all of her carrots after being told how much they help you (and rabbits) to see better in the dark. I even turned the lights out a couple of times to test out the theory for effect.
2. Colourful food
Today I tried something around the theme of changing colours and explained how the pasta might turnblue because it was getting cold. She laughed and felt encouraged to eat each twirl to save it from going cold and turning blue! This may sound a bit nutty but it led on to us discussing the changing autumn colours including the leaves, so there was a valuable link in there along the way. 🙂 After that, tucking into a colourful array of fruit was easy. Pointing out the colours (or letting her do that) added to the fun.