Most parents come to me for help with getting their kids to EAT – without hearing them say YUCK before they even try it. #frustrating!
And as a parent of a child who was underweight, I totally understand why! We want our children to consume the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. And sometimes we’re successful getting them to put new foods in their mouth, by offering cookies as a bribe, sneaking it into their smoothies, or begging them to take two bites.
But personally, even if my daughter took those bites, I didn’t feel great about it. Because she didn’t try broccoli on their own. She ate it to get a cookie. Or to get me off her back.
After helping hundreds of parents navigate the frustrations around feeding their children, including my own extremely picky eater, I discovered a ‘shortcut’ so-to-speak on how to help kids accept new foods FASTER.
That was only once I realized two really important things about why kids eat so poorly. Two facts that I talk about in my Free webinar (and when I train schools/childcare facilities) that parents (and teachers) need to know if they want to see real changes.
TWO unknown facts about feeding children:
UNKNOWN FACT #1
I always thought eating was easy – everyone gets hungry and needs to eat right? But as a mom of a former picky eater I know that’s not true. Eating is one of the most difficult tasks we do as humans. It’s more difficult than walking or talking. CRAZY RIGHT?!
So it’s not as simple as putting a spoonful of food in their mouth. We need to make eating EASIER for our kids – the question is how to do that without being overly accommodating? (i.e. just giving them their favourite foods).
UNKNOWN FACT #2:
Also, virtually every human being goes through something called FOOD NEOPHOBIA – which is a fear of trying new foods.
Trust me! Your child really wants to like eating. This fear may just be holding them back from trying new foods.
- Your child WILL NOT eat a food if they dislike the way the food looks, smells, feels, sounds, etc.
- Your child WILL eat a food they are comfortable with from a SENSORY perspective. Other things need to happen too (like offering foods in the right way, etc), but food exploration is sooooo critical!
Chances are that, if your son or daughter is stuck – not trying new foods – they are quietly asking for you to help them.
How do we help our “picky eaters”?
Our children need help learning to like new foods….
- With ease – Eating is HARD. If a food is perceived to be challenging, it can make kids anxious. This then hinders their appetite (and there’s definitely no motivation to try new foods when they aren’t hungry!).
- Without fear – Most children go through “food neophobia” and need help navigating this fear (vs. succumbing to it).
You’ll notice your child often gravitates to their favourite foods, even when presented with other delicious options. That’s because…
- Familiar foods are COMFORTING and EASY.
- New foods are SCARY and HARD.
So we could simply call it a day, and offer their favourite foods. However, this doesn’t quite help expand their shrinking list of 10 to 20 foods.
Instead, the answer is to introduce foods in a way that makes they EASY to explore (and eat) and removes the FEAR around eating them.
It’s something I really hammer home when I teach – parents, schools, childcare facilities and health professionals. But it’s something every parent, teacher, doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, dietician (anyone who works with children) should know.
So I wanted to make this incredible information accessible to everyone and created a game changing tool that will make your job at mealtimes – with a picky eater or not – much easier.
It’s a Placemat for Picky Eaters that gently encourages food exploration and sparks their curiosity in new foods. So they are willing to try new foods a lot faster –– WITHOUT FEAR and WITH EASE.
Here’s a sneak peak….
I’ll tell you more about it this week. Let’s just say it’s going to be the perfect gift for you AND your little (or big) one – for less than the price of dinner tonight.