#8 Em­brace self-ser­vice

Mother & Baby (UK) - - PICKY EATING SPECIAL -

‘If you have a picky eater, adopt the Amer­i­can “fam­ily style” of eat­ing,’ says Jo. ‘Serve the food in bowls in the cen­tre of the ta­ble and let ev­ery­one help them­selves. So, if you were hav­ing a curry, you might have a bowl of rice, a bowl of chicken pieces and a bowl of sauce.’ Make sure there is some­thing that your child would eat in one of those bowls, even if it means cook­ing an ex­tra bowl of peas. But don’t make it over­whelm­ing by of­fer­ing too many choices.

‘There’s a fa­mous Amer­i­can di­eti­cian called El­lyn Sat­ter (el­lyn­sat­terin­sti­tute.org), who talks about the “di­vi­sion of re­spon­si­bil­ity” when it comes to feed­ing chil­dren,’ says Jo. ‘The idea is that it’s the par­ents’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­cide when meals are served, where those meals are eaten and which foods are of­fered, but it’s the child’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­cide whether to eat and how much to eat.’ So, as the par­ent, you should of­fer up a healthy, nu­tri­tious and var­ied diet, but let your child pick what he wants to eat from what’s in front of him. ‘He may just go for rice, but he’s see­ing and smelling the sauce and the chicken, and he’s watch­ing you eat it,’ says Jo. ‘That is build­ing his aware­ness of those foods, mak­ing them more fa­mil­iar and – over time – this will en­cour­age him to try them.’

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