Recently we were sent some gorgeous children’s books from Books and Pieces. Harry loves reading and was so excited to hear the new and exciting stories. They also sent us a fab 10% off discount code to pass on to all our lovely readers so keep reading for that! With their fab multi buy discounts on lots of great titles to start off with, it’s well worth a browse!
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Story time has always been one of our favourite times of the day and we don’t reserve it just for bedtime! Harry often asks to snuggle up with a good book and he can retell lots of stories off by heart! He loves talking about books and acting out his favourite parts from stories. His current favourite is pretending to be the Highway Rat and demanding we hand over our cakes and chocolates! He also likes asking to wash his hands when they are dirty to get rid of the ‘germs and nasties’, just like the Little Princess.
One of his favourite books that he received was called Lunchtime by Rebecca Cobb. It is all about a little girl who doesn’t want to eat her lunch until some ‘friends’ come along to help her out by eating it for her! It got me thinking about how difficult it can be to encourage toddlers to eat sometimes and how fussy they can be. I’m lucky that Harry is generally a very good eater but he has had fussy phases which have been really challenging. I decided to put together a list of my top tips to encourage a fussy eater. Let me know if any of these have worked for you or if you have any other top tips!
Tips to encourage a fussy eater
Eat together as a family
Ok, so this isn’t always possible but when it is I find that eating together really encourages Harry to try new things. He likes to feel grown up like mummy and daddy so seeing that we all have the same food on our plates and watching us eat it really helps to get him to try new things.
Serve new foods next to firm favourites
When I introduce a new food I always introduce it alongside something that I know Harry loves. Sometimes he will pick it up by accident while shovelling in his favourite foods then decide he likes it, others he will ignore it. After seeing something a few times though he always tries it eventually!
Toddlers can be frustratingly fussy little creatures! It’s so easy to become stressed when you’ve lovingly prepared a healthy meal for them only for them to turn their nose up at it without trying a single bite. When Harry refuses to try something I just say ‘ok’ and take it away. No fuss, no pleading with him, no negotiating, just ‘ok’. I then offer the same thing again frequently over the next few weeks and generally he will just pick it up and try it one day out of the blue.
Get them involved in the cooking
Harry is just starting to get to the age now where he likes to try and ‘help’ in the kitchen. He loves fruit picking to collect ingredients, helping put food in the trolly at the supermarket, cutting up fruit to go in smoothies, getting the plates and cutlery out ready for meal times (just the plastic ones of course). We’re going to have a go at making our own pizzas this weekend which I can’t wait for! I really think that, even at a young age, children love to help and giving them ownership of their meals helps them to think they’re in control and getting their own way!
Use stories to capture your little foodies imagination!
If your little one loves stories like Harry, they can be the perfect way to capture their imaginations when it comes to meal times. Harry loves ‘spacegetti’ like they eat in ‘Alien School’ or making ‘dinosaur smoothies’ like Peppa Pig. We love to make ‘owl ice cream’ or ‘scrambled snake’ (scrambled eggs) for the Gruffalo and picnics so we can take our food and go on bear hunts.
I know this one may sound odd but, even as adults, we have to admit that somebody else’s chips taste better than our own. Stolen food just tastes better.. fact! It’s the same for toddlers. Harry is always more likely to eat something if he thinks he has ‘stolen’ it from Mummy or Daddy!
Lots of praise and encouragement when your child does try something new are so important. I remember when Harry tried lettuce for the first time, I literally jumped up and down clapping and cheering, Harry thought it was that funny that he went back for more just to see me do it again!
Serve food in a fun way!
As simple as it sounds, presenting food on a plate with your child’s favourite characters on it or laying the food out in a fun shape can really help to engage your little one in meal times and encourage them to show an interest in their food. I love this tray that turns trying new foods into a game, it definitely has the potential to make children want to try everything on there and reach the finish line!
This post was inspired by the beautiful books we were sent by ‘Books and Pieces’. It’s well worth checking out their website as they have amazing deals on a wide range of children’s books, including 3 for £10 on amazing titles by incredible authors like Julia Donaldson. I’ve also got a cheeky discount code for my amazing Friendly First Foodies so it’s well worth a browse, especially with Christmas only being 3 pay days away! (Sorry, I went there! Christmaaaas!!!)
For the Friendly First Foods discount use the code: FirstFoods10 at the checkout for 10% off your order!