Dic­ta­tors at the din­ing ta­ble

Head­strong, ir­ra­tional young­sters can be per­suaded to eat their veg, but not by open war­fare

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - MUM’S THE WORD with Sue Clo­hesy

T ANTRUMS at the ta­ble, stamp­ing of the feet, re­fusal to eat and dic­ta­tor­ship of the din­ner menu. Th­ese are all things

fussy child eaters have in com­mon.

Not a week goes by that a fel­low par­ent does not tell me they

can­not get their chil­dren to eat ve­g­ies. Some of them are deep in de­spair when they ad­mit what they think is a fail­ing as a par­ent. Oth­ers don’t seem to mind, as they’ve changed their meals to

suit the child’s lik­ings and it ap­pears to be the par­ent’s lik­ing too.

But the prob­lem when deal­ing with fussy eaters is that, de­pend­ing on how you deal with it, you could make the sit­u­a­tion a whole lot worse. Many child ex­perts will tell you chil­dren need

‘‘ their cre­ates Oth­ers veg­eta­bles,good will eat­ingtell meatyou habit­snot and to into dairy sweat the for it, fu­ture.a your well-round­ed­child’s eat­ing diet habit­sthat will stuff. change over time, you just need to keep serv­ing up the good But therein lies the prob­lem. Some par­ents with fussy eaters have been through hell and back try­ing to get their kids to take

the healthy op­tion so they’ve given up.

They no longer even plan ve­g­ies into their meals be­cause

they’re sick of see­ing it go to waste. How is any­one ever go­ing to learn to like a food group when it’s not of­fered to them to eat? Why not start off small, with one or two veg­eta­bles so the waste isn’t so great?

Make sure you’re eat­ing veg­eta­bles at din­ner so they see you en­joy­ing them. Don’t of­fer them some­thing else in place of

veg­eta­bles, or ex­tra food af­ter tea time, and they may just start eat­ing them out of sheer hunger. If they’re old enough get them to help pre­pare the meal.

Th­ese are all things you can try that will not start an ar­gu­ment

or re­quire ex­tra willpower or pa­tience.

I’ve seen many kids refuse to eat their ve­g­ies sim­ply be­cause

they are yelled at and told they are not leav­ing the ta­ble un­til the food is gone. Well that’s a sure way to in­stil a ha­tred of some­thing. Pos­si­bly, as the child has a choice, they won’t try that vegie

again.

So quit the fuss and chill out if you’ve a fussy lit­tle one. You

can have your ve­g­ies and eat them too.

Get in touch via sue.clo­[email protected]­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

How is any­one ever go­ing to learn to like a food group when it’s not of­fered for them to eat?

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

There are a num­ber of ways par­ents can deal with chil­dren who will not eat their veg­eta­bles.

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