I think many of you know I’m a Dietitian. I also think many of you may know I struggle a bit to get my toddler to eat as healthily as I would want. I have to try and chill out about this. She’s 2 and a half. She is fussy at times and she really dislikes fruit. This is something I really struggle to get my head around. How can you prefer a Scottish oatcake to a sodding sweet strawberry? She actually gags if I breathe on her after I have had an apple or bring the core near here and we think she had a banana phobia…. It’s difficult as it feels like groundhog day with her meals and snacks and my professional brain just frets that she doesn’t get enough good nutrition.
Sometimes we need to take a step back. I need to take a step back and stop fretting. What would I say to someone who was worried about their fussy eater?
I would say actually make a list of all the things they eat and see what it adds up to.
So this is what I have done and actually I was pleasantly surprised.
Fruit and Veg
- Green beans
- Sweetcorn and on the cob
- Tomato sauces to have with pasta
- Carrots (only at nursery!)
This list isn’t amazing but it is better than nothing! We rarely hit 5 a day. If I get 3, I’m laughing but hey ho we can work at it. The gremlin is not a juice or smoothie person either and she will only have a couple of mouthfuls of a banana milkshake. even with ice-cream blended in. Go figure?!
- Pasta (both white and wholemeal)
- Granary Bread
- Scottish Oatcakes
- Cereals – Weetabix, cornflakes and Cheerios
Carbs are easy eh?
- Chicken and cold chicken tikka pieces.
- Turkey/Beef Mince meat if blended
- Fish fingers
- Peanut Butter
- Baked beans
- Lentils (if in a curry)
I wish she would eat more meat. It is a challenge but she does eat small amounts and it is always improving. Blending a spag bol on the advice of my friend really helped! Eggs are our saviour dish; boiled, poached, scrambled and omelettes.
- Milk (tonnes)
- Greek Yoghurt
- Hard and soft cheese
- Fromage frais
Thank the Lordy in times of illness for dairy. Calories, fat, protein and calcium.
The gremlin lives for these foods (strangely she hates gummy/fizzy sweets and I will ensure this is the case for as long as I can). I have to restrict her very often!
You maybe thinking what the heck!!! How flipping tedious of the nutter to write a shopping list but it is really worth it to actually see what your child is managing.
The gremlin actually manages quite a few things from each food group. Yes I wish she would eat more fruit. I wish she would eat some oily fish with us. I wish she didn’t constantly ask for a “picky lunch” which consists of Dairylea, cold chicken pieces, sweetcorn and bread and peanut butter!! I wish she ate as well as she did when she was weaning; salmon, hummus and fruit were on the menu BUT she isn’t actually that bad and her diet over a week can be balanced.
It’s hard. It’s frustrating. Watching her pick through food, spitting things out and gagging make me want to destroy her but I live in the hope she will turn out like her Mummy and Daddy, who love their exotic food, fruit, veggies and sweet treats now and then.
Let me know if you give this a go!