Our youngest is a fussy eater on the sort of top level of all fussy eating. I don't mean he'll get a bit sniffy at some foods, and tries to get out of healthy stuff. I mean there are entire types of food that not only will he not eat them, he just doesn't see them as food.
Which makes mealtimes interesting to say the least. Most of his dislike is texture based, and I know that often if I can just get him to try something new that doesn't have the sort of slimy texture he loathes (like cheese does, or caramel) then he'll eat it.
We had a huge success early on by getting him to eat broccoli. My husband made a volcano out of mashed potato, put the carrots in as lava, and the broccoli as trees.
Would we get anything out of a book that claims it can have your kids eating fruit and vegetables? Anything is worth a try!
The book we received is called Fun Food for Fussy Little Eaters by Smita Srivastava (£9.99).
The idea for the book, and her blog, came from Smita's own personal experience. As it says on the website "Since most children need a little more inspiration to try new things, the ideas and recipes in this book aim to make food more visually appealing."
The book covers easy to make breakfasts, snacks and lunchboxes comprised of healthy ingredients including fresh fruit and vegetables, in fun food presentations not only encourage kids to try new things, but also drive home the message that healthy meals don?t have to be boring.
As you can see from some of the photos here the presentation is fun. Most of the food is based around a few key ingredients that most children really like, such as cheese, or the croissant featured on the cover.
We had two problems here. First, my son definitely, wholeheartedly does not like cheese, nor cucumber, nor will he ever touch a tomato.
However, the ideas in the book are good, and you can easily adapt them.
One we tried was the Smiling Jack-O-Latern. This was a good one for Halloween. It uses carrots as the base, which my son loves. First I had to partially cook the carrots as he doesn't like them raw. But I used brown bread, something he normally turns his nose up at. And he ate it. I also used the beetroot for the face.
My son at the beetroot.
There have been studies that show that actually all this stuff about how you have to present a new food item 10 times or so before a child will eat it is a load of old bull. That actually, whether a child will eat a food item again depends not one jot on how many times they're seeing it on their plates, but on whether eating it in the first instance was a good experience. Praise them a lot for eating something, and they will eat it again.
Maybe the theory applies to food too?
The upshot is though that my son now eats carrot and beetroot sandwiches. Woo hoo! I'm happy.
If your child is only a little bit fussy, and you're just looking for ways of making their food fun, then I think this book is completely over priced at £9.99 for just 64 pages.
However, if meals are a complete battle field and getting anything new and nutritious into your child leaves you exhausted on a daily basis, then no price is too much.
I'm happy with this book just because he ate a tiny bit of beetroot. And now I can stick a bit of beetroot in his sandwiches and he'll eat them because he likes beetroot.
One small step but a huge ruddy great leap for me!
Pros: excellent layout, good pictures, easy to adapt ideas
Cons: a little expensive, none of the lunch ideas will look like that once their lunch bag has been walked to school, and tossed about in the lunch bag box in the classroom.
Overall verdict: 8 / 10