“Up until last week, my baby ate anything and everything I gave him. Now, I can’t get him to eat anything. What’s going on? Have I got a fussy eater?”
This is such a common question that I get asked and the simple answer is. “No, you don’t have a fussy eater. You have a perfectly normal child who is going through a perfectly normal phase of growth and development.”
Depending on your baby’s age, there are a couple of scenarios including a minor illness such as a cold or virus that, frankly, can put us all off our food. But the most likely is that they are simply exerting their new-found independence and trying out what happens if they say no to mum and dad … rather than the other way around.
Eating fads and displaying preferences for certain foods and flavours is totally normal. If your Chicken Casserole was hot property last week, and this week your bub won’t touch it, that’s completely normal. Your little one is simply telling you they want variety.
What is important is not to start labeling them as ‘fussy’ or restricting what you offer them just because you think they won’t eat all the colours of the rainbow. Remain consistent in what you serve ensuring a variety of colours, flavours and textures. And take the opportunity to expand your repertoire!
We all tend to get stuck in a rut and cook our favourite dishes over and over, so if your bub is saying no to the regulars, then I challenge you to pick 4 new recipes from my book that you’ve not tried before. Randomly open to a page and cook what’s on it (if it’s already a fave, turn 3 pages to the right and see where you land). Let’s call this the Variety Challenge.
Cook. Cube (Freezer Pods and Qubies are great for this) and Freeze. Having small portions in the freezer takes the stress out as you can defrost a small amount and offer it to bub. If it’s a winner, you can easily defrost more; if not, you’re not wasting too much and the rest will be happy in the freezer for you to re-try again in a few weeks’ time.
I’d love to hear about your Variety Challenge experience – what new dishes did you try that were a hit?