New Food with Kids. A Gentle Approach for Trying Times.

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Photo by Pixabay

First I’ll try one. Then I’ll try two. Then I’ll try three. I’ll keep going.

This isn’t my approach to family planning or what I’m like with a box of chocolates (um, actually…). It’s my four year old’s approach for trying my easy, yummy, tomato pearl barley risotto (coming soon!).  I’d advise not calling it risotto in front of the kids though; call it tiny pasta or something. (Assuming your children are as suspicious as mine at eating new words.  New food is enough to deal with it seems.).

Anyway pearl barley has certainly done the job of injecting (some) variety into the diet of my six year old pasta lover.  However, my four year old is less keen.  I continue….

I’m hoping that my replies to my four year old mimicked a children’s television presenter at a firework display (I was actually genuinely quite impressed with his willingness to try. There have been a lot of no shows to get to this point.)

Oooooh!  Wow!!  Awesome!!  Gosh, I can tell you’ve started school.  That’s amazing.  I’m going to have to keep an eye on my dinner, you’ll be pinching it soon!

Pops bread in toaster.

I’m confident he will get there though.  Hopefully before the gushing, over exaggerated responses that he currently loves stop working.

When is that by the way???  

For some reason he seems more sensitive to different textures, flavours and appearances of food than his brother.  But a softly, softly approach and only talking in terms of successes and growth is slowly helping.  He already thinks that he is great at trying new food; he perhaps isn’t great.  Yet.  But he will be great and he is getting there.  And I don’t mind being patient.  A gentle approach sometimes gets you to your destination quicker.  Think hare and tortoise.

Talking in growth terms makes the talker (You!) happier too.  Talking about how they’ll be trying and enjoying everything soon, even cooking up their own storms in the kitchen, reminds you that this really is just a phase.  So tell them they will be dining out at all sorts of restaurants and trying to pinch your pearl barley risotto because they have finished their own!

Fussy eating for many is a part of childhood. A rite of passage maybe?? So talk about how they will like more and more foods as they get older; how their tastebuds will be crying out for different flavours as they get older (put on a voice, be a tastebud!).  Enjoy the food journey that they’re on, even if it is taking a more scenic route than you would have liked.

They will hear your laid back patter; even if they barley (couldn’t resist) blink while you’re gushing, you can be rest assured that they’re listening and in a few months you’ll start to hear some of your words back.

And sure enough this evening, as I’m trying to remove pearl barley from my hair (I have a seventeen month old too).

You can tell I’ve started school can’t you mum?

Yes Sam I can.

Sniffs.  Puts banana on stairs to take up for bedtime snack. 

Sometimes the best game is the long game.  Speaking of games, here is why you should help your child learn to love losing.

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