Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Official Taste Tester

Does this face look familiar?

My Miss 2 has just gone through a stage were she was very fussy with her food, especially dinners.

Let me start at the beginning.

When Bella was starting to eat alot of 'our foods' She was eating everything and anything that I was making for her. I loved making her fish fingers, chicken nuggets, salmon cakes, meatballs, fritattas, quiche sweet potato chippies, you name it I was making it. Everything was made by me from scratch. She ate well and enjoyed the food I was making and I loved making her this food and seeing how much she was enjoying it. She is a real meat eater. She loves meat. 

When I went back to work full time (urgh!) I was struggling to keep on top of everything. I would rush home and try and make something from scratch and it was just not happening. Dinner was getting later and later. Bella wasn't eating it due to being so tired.

I started doing bulk cook ups on the weekends, but our weekends would fill up  and there was no time for cooking and to be completely honest, when I did have a spare afternoon, I wanted to be playing with my girl. Blowing bubbles, playing dress ups, singing dancing, what ever I just wanted to hang out with her. Selfish... yep!!

Cue, premade/store crap! Ok, its not all crap. I shopped around and instead of making my own risoles, I found some already made that were yummy but low in fat. Instead of making my own Salmon cakes, I found a store bought substitute. This made life a bit easier and I was able to get Bella feed in time before she got too tired.

After 2 months of being at work and finally getting into the swing of things... We got pregnant!!! (yayeeee!!) But the down fall was I was pregnant and suffering the worst morning sickness ever. I couldn't even think about the kitchen let alone walk into it.

Cue, my husband having to cook for Bella which unfortunately meant, what ever he could make, reheat is what she got. I didn't care as long as I didn't need to be in the kitchen.... I pretty much relied on my Husband to make Bella's dinner for my whole pregnancy due to being so sick and also having to spend alot of it on bed rest.

This is when we started to have some problems. Bella wasn't getting the variety she was used to and she started to only want certain Salmon cakes. This would have to be one of her favourite meals. I'm not complaining as it has vegies in it and Salmon is great for brain development. My Miss 1 at the time, just wanted the salmon cakes every night.

When something new was presented to her we saw tantrums and refusal to eat. To keep the peace my husband just stuck with her favourite things. Miss 1 at the time fell in love with the store bought Salmon cakes. She still loves mine but she just loves them and asks to have them every night.

Now life has settled down alot since having Charlotte I am back in the kitchen cooking. It feels great to be able to cook and provide for my family. In the beginning there was a few tanties until I got Bella in the kitchen helping me. We bought a funpod thingy and this worked a treat for a while as Bella was helping me but that wore of fast as it was a bit boring for her cause she really wasn't able to do much as its all pretty dangerous for a tot her age.

After some thought, I decided it was time to get creative and try and make dinner time a fun time for Bella. So out of nowhere, one night I just said to Bella that she had a special job and that was being our families 'official taste tester'. Being the families 'official taste tester' meant that she had to taste all the components of the meal to make sure they are yummy and suitable for us all to eat. I had no idea how successful this was going to be but she LOVED the idea! (Ha!) She gets so excited about it. When dinner is ready I tell her its time to taste the meal and races to the kitchen. I put her in the funpod, give her the official taste testing spoon which goes with her very important duties. After she gives her approval (which is every meal!!) she rushes to the table and eats her meal no worries.  

Who would of thought that she would even buy into this! Ha! It's a fun thing we both do together and it's working!! And right now, thats all that matters *smiley face* 

Here is Bella eating her dinner from last night. Sorry about the terrible photo. Last night we had grilled chicken, roast potato, roast sweet potato and mixed veiges.

Some tips I have learnt along the way...

  • Never force them to eat their food I was forced to eat foods I didn't like as a child. I would eat everything except Pumpkin. I hated it. To me some kids will like all food some won't. I don't want to create a bad relationship with any foods with my kids. In my eyes, not everyone can like all foods right? To this day, I still can't stand pumpkin!
  • Never give threats like 'if they don't eat their dinner they go straight to bed!' I think that if you give threats, you will soon start to see that dinner time becomes a tedious task as the child will start to perpetuate tension around dinner time every day. It will be a constant battle as the child will start to create a negative memory. I believe these actions will not help long term.
  • Making it fun! We tried the 'help Mummy cook' approach but I just felt that it was too dangerous and it got a bit hard for me as Bella wanted to do everything I needed to do,  crack open eggs, cut up meat, stir hot saucepans of food. When being told she couldn't cut up the meat I was faced with a tempertantrum which was not only frustrating but also dangerous in our small kitchen. However, the taste testing idea is working for us. It's fun, she is involved and best of all she is eating her dinner!

Do you have any tips or tricks that worked for you?


Jockey said...

When I was little we ate at the table and there was an open window & that's where my pumpkin went ... Out the window when no one was looking :-)

Leesa said...

Hahhaa how lucky are you! We didn't have any window that I could dispose said Pumpkin. It was worse when we went to my Nannas place as she would ALWAYS make mash pumpkin and it was foul! I would have to sit there for hours :( I would try and eat it so I could have dessert but I would just dry reach. No dessert for me lol

Mammamusing said...

Great post!

I hope some of your tips will have Amelie eating again.

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