Parents all over the country will know how hard mealtimes with children can be. You spend two hours cooking a delicious, nutritious dinner only for them to take one look at it and say 'yuk!'
Food on the floor, likes and dislikes changing by the day and taking an hour to eat three mouthfuls are all common bugbears with mums and dads. So how can we turn our kids from fussy eaters into open-minded diners?
Nanny Louenna Hood, who trained at the prestigious Norland College – where the Duchess of Cambridge's nanny also attended – has shared her top tips for dealing with fussy eaters. Here's what to do…
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Louenna Hood’s 7 tips for dealing with fussy eaters
1) "A good relationship with food begins during weaning. Wean your baby using home-cooked food, and let them enjoy new tastes and textures, during the six-to-twelve month taste window when babies taste buds are more accepting of new flavours."
Norland Nanny Louenna Hood
2) "Eat together – this is so important! If you sit there watching your child eat with nothing to do yourself, it creates massive pressure on them and increases your anxiety. If they see the adults around them eating the same foods it will encourage them to try different things."
3) "Get your child to help in the kitchen. They love to eat fresh food that they have prepared."
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Duchess Kate with her nanny Maria Borrallo
4) "Offer small manageable portions so your child isn’t put off or overwhelmed."
5) "Don’t let mealtimes become a battle. If they feel you getting frustrated, it will fuel them to create more of a fuss. Keep your voice calm and controlled and tell them to try and eat what they can."
Louenna suggests feeding your child different tastes and textures during weaning
6) "Set some simple rules. My two most important rules would be that children always have to try everything, even if it’s just one bite. Then after tasting it, if they don’t like it we don’t make a fuss or remove it from their plate, they just leave it on the side and eat the rest of the meal".
7) "If your children absolutely refuses to eat vegetables, try blending steamed vegetable and adding them to sauces. Recipe ideas include macaroni cheese with hidden cauliflower, tomato pasta sauce filled with hidden vegetables and homemade burgers with grated apple, carrot, courgette, red pepper and onion. Smoothies and ice lollies are brilliant for getting children to eat fruit and vegetables."
The Nanny Louenna app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play with subscriptions starting from £4.99 a month