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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's a battle.

Salam to all,
                Here is an excerpt of my conversations with my friends here.

A: I don't know what else should I cook for my kids.
Me: Why? What's wrong?
A: They like to eat junk food. If possible, they want to eat fried chicken everyday. But I don't want to let that happen.
Me: Oh I see. Have you tried to cook a variety of food?
A: Well, I'm not really a good cook. So, I have a very limited skills in cooking. I've done what I could.
Me: Don't worry. You are not alone. I still consider myself an amateur cook.

Okay. Can you guess what the conversation was about? hehe mcm soalan kertas BI SPM pulak My intention in this entry is to share about FUSSY EATERS. Why do I pick the title "It's a battle"? Frankly, I reckon it is actually a battle that most mothers have almost everyday just to ensure their kids are eating a balanced diet.

 (photo from google)

This is not a new topic. It's been discussed over and over. We can find some tips from parenting books, magazines or on the internet. BUT finding the tips that can really help is like finding a needle in a haystack! We can get so frustrated before we can even get our kids to eat again.

Let's see some of the tips to handle FUSSY/PICKY EATERS:

1. Respect your child's appetite — or lack of one

Young children tend to eat only when they're hungry. If your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack. Likewise, don't bribe or force your child to clean his or her plate. This may only ignite — or reinforce — a power struggle over food.
(I myself sometimes force my kids to finish their food because I don't like to see the food being wasted)

2. Stick to the routine

Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. Nix juice, milk and snacks for at least one hour before meals. If your child comes to the table hungry, he or she may be more motivated to eat.
(Oh no! I offer my kids some snacks while I'm preparing the dinner. )

3. Be patient with new foods

Young children often touch or smell new foods, and may even put tiny bits in their mouths and then take them back out again. Your child may need repeated exposure to a new food before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food's color, shape, aroma and texture — not whether it tastes good.
(Sometimes it's so frustrating to cook the same food over and over again. huhu)

4. Make it fun

Serve broccoli and other veggies with a favorite dip or sauce. Cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters. Offer breakfast foods for dinner.
(I've tried this technique but in the end they said "I want to eat sandwich like Suzy(my friend) did!")

5. Recruit your child's help

At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table.
(Sometimes my kids love to come to the kitchen to help out)

6. Set a good example

If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit.
(Well, we are trying to be a good role model)

7. Be sneaky

Add chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, top cereal with fruit slices, or mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups.
(Tell me about this! I've been doing this for every meal!)

8. Minimize distractions

Turn off the television during meals, and don't allow books or toys at the table.
(Yup. This is so true)

9. Don't offer dessert as a reward

Withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which may only increase your child's desire for sweets. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week — or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthy choices.
(Haha. I guess this is why they seldom finish their lunch. They just want to eat the ice cream!)

10. Don't be a short order cook

Preparing a separate meal for your child after he or she rejects the original meal may encourage your child's picky eating. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred.
(I've never take orders as I tell them to eat the food or they aren't getting anything else)

 Source: Taken from here.

I remember when I was growing up, preparing the meals for 8 kids was like a nightmare for my late mum. Even though she worked as a teacher, she still had time to prepare the meals for us. She cooked something for our lunch boxes and the lunch meal the night before. And she cooked dinner at 6 p.m. (we ate dinner at 8 p.m.). Sometimes when one or some of us refused to eat, she just said "You have to eat that or eat nothing else!". Then whether we like it or not, we had to eat. yelah mana larat nak layan karenah 8 org anak yg berlainan selera kan She tried to accomodate our preferences in food during the weekends when she prepared some special meals. She actually became a better cook after having my second brother (the fourth child).  lama2 kena masak utk anak2 mmg boleh menjadikan kita pandai masak kan?

Right now, I would say that my daughters are not really fussy but they do have their own preferences. It is a battle that I have to face everyday not to forget the fact of thinking and planning about meals. pening kan nak tukar2 dan fikir apa nak masak tiap2 hari Well, fussy eaters or not, one thing for sure is we need to ensure that our kids get the balanced diet. So, what say you?


    KambingBujang said...

    Like me, No junk foods to Amirul. bler balik kg, or kenduri kendara jer bleh mkn chocolate, or minum air sejuk or ice cream, lain2 mmg xleh la. but he has very bad eating habit yg mmg me sdn do not know how to solve it. dier suka mkn nasik putih without lauk. ader je lauk trus nk tkr plate nasik.. asyik mkn carbo jer..rsau gak.. takut ter-obese

    temp. housewife said...

    Amirul mkn nasi putih saje ye. hmm susah juga tu. Fizah pulak suka mkn lauk saje.

    mommyYen said...

    sabar yer,my son pun sama,tak brp suka nasi,tp suka mee,pasta n vege dia suka..cuba variety kan menu diorang,tgok mana yg paling suka,then selang seli kan menu...

    Nadiah Sidek said...

    nadiah ni yg picky eater kak! hehe. tapi nadiah ajar safiyyah mkn various of foods walaupun nadiah tak mkn mknn2 tu. so far, safiyyah mkn je apa yg disuap ke mulutnya. hrp2nya dia tak ikut jejak langkah umminya la yg sgt memilih mknn :p

    temp. housewife said...

    mommy Yen,
    I do prepare a variety of food everyday. but sometimes, I run out of idea too. LOL

    temp. housewife said...

    Kita kena jd good role model. mcmmana nak suruh anak mkn tapi kita sendiri tak mkn banyk benda. hehe.

    Daddy Zuki said...

    my three girls just eat whatever i consume such as 100 Plus drink, yoghurt, pizza etc. Sometimes, when I just buy side dishes from outside and then cook the rice at home. It's more economical.

    Mila_ibu najihah said...

    salam akak, najihah sy mmg picky eater, tp if dia jumpa 1 yg kena dgn citarasa dia dia makan bsungguh. risau nk variety kn food..coz dia lebih byk menolak,jenuh pujuk..hmm. makan aperla anak ku itu d nursery?bila kita tanya sume ok je diorg ckp.