TAK­ING THE FUSS OUT OF DIN­NER TIME

Han­dling your lit­tle picky eaters

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

The In­sta­gram ac­count My Kid Can’t Eat This re­blogs real strug­gles of par­ents all over the world with their lit­tle picky eaters. The rea­sons range from the bread is bro­ken to piz­zas can’t be square.

Mar­ried cou­ple Zoe Bather and Joe Sharpe know the feel­ing so they de­cided to write a book in a bid to help solve the prob­lem for other par­ents. Around The World With The In­greed­ies is a chil­dren’s pic­ture and cook­book that aims to get kids ex­cited about new foods through shar­ing fun food facts and recipes from around the world. Bather says: “We don’t ex­pect kids to like ev­ery­thing they’re given to eat. But we do be­lieve if you tell them about the his­tory and cul­ture of food, it will in­spire them to try some­thing new. Eat­ing to­gether should be a plea­sure, not a pain.”

Here are some of her tips...

EX­POSE THEM TO CUL­TURES

Through books, TV or trips out, en­cour­age chil­dren to ex­plore the his­tory and cul­ture that sur­rounds food. Chi­nese tea rit­u­als, Mex­i­can pinatas, Span­ish tomato throw­ing fes­ti­vals – these weird and won­der­ful, ex­otic tales of food will spark their in­ter­est in as­so­ci­ated in­gre­di­ents, flavours and recipes.

PLAN MEALS TO­GETHER

Get some cook­ery books out and in­volve the kids in de­cid­ing what you’re go­ing to eat. If they see you im­ple­ment­ing some of their ideas, they’ll be much more ac­cept­ing of what’s put in front of them.

GO SHOPPING TO­GETHER

If they’re old enough, chal­lenge them to find some in­gre­di­ents on your list. Sim­ply han­dling some veg or count­ing out some fruit gets them fa­mil­iar with raw in­gre­di­ents - de­mys­ti­fy­ing what’s in their din­ner. They’ll also see how much ef­fort goes into pre­par­ing meals and start to value more what they eat

IN­VOLVE THEM WHEN COOK­ING

Get them to taste or smell an in­gre­di­ent, and have them play some small part in the prepa­ra­tion or cook­ing (a stir here, a tea­spoon of some­thing there), and they’ll be ex­cited to try the end re­sult with you.

ONE MEAL FOR ALL

Eat to­gether round the ta­ble when­ever pos­si­ble, and eat the same thing. Don’t sep­a­rate what they’re eat­ing from what you’re eat­ing, as you’re set­ting your­self up for mak­ing sev­eral din­ners each night. You’re not a restau­rant. When eat­ing out, hunt out res­tau­rants that don’t have a sep­a­rate kids menu, but of­fer half por­tions and can be flex­i­ble on top­pings, sauces and condi­ments.

EMBRACE FEED­BACK

Kids won’t al­ways like ev­ery­thing you cook. But talk­ing about what they liked or dis­liked in a dish goes a long way. Get them to de­scribe tastes or tex­tures they weren’t keen on, and per­haps you can change that for next time by go­ing easy on the le­mon or leav­ing out a spice.

MAKE FOOD EX­CIT­ING

Try some­thing new as a fam­ily once a week – ex­plore an un­fa­mil­iar cui­sine, have a go at a new recipe or just try us­ing a new in­gre­di­ent. If they see you try­ing some­thing new, they’ll want to be part of the ex­pe­ri­ence and fun, and will ul­ti­mately have a much more open and less anx­ious at­ti­tude to­wards food.

SAY AAH: Feed­ing a fussy eater can be frus­trat­ing. Get a bit of help from the book Around The World With The In­greed­ies, avail­able on Ama­zon.com

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