Do you have a ‘fussy eater’ at home?
More often than not, I come cross parents who complain and worry about their children to be fussy or picky eaters. With this in mind, when it comes to feeding your child, meal times can be an upsetting experience. It can be extremely stressful when planning, preparing and serving foods to your little ones.
Research suggests that children who are exposed to broader food choices at an earlier age are more likely to have healthier diets in later life. When children start school, their food preferences may also be increasingly influenced by their peers and social groups, so it is important to equip them with some basic food and nutrition knowledge to make healthier choices.
Bring them on board!
Some of the most helpful ways to encourage your child to be more adventurous are to involve them in your everyday food shopping and preparations. If they help with making the dish, they are also more likely to eat it. Simple tasks could be measuring out ingredients, grating a carrot or cheese, or cracking an egg.
Of course we all lead busy lives, and it may not be as easy as it sounds to make time for food work. First of all then, it may be useful to stop labelling your child as fussy or picky. This helps to remove the negativeness you associate with their food choices. Another way is to encourage your child to talk about the food they like or dislike - you may be surprised to hear the reasons behind their preferences and could try to tackle these instead.
Food is education
Developing healthy food habits is one of the most important pillars underpinning a happy and positive school life, and often starts at home. As children eat what they like, and they like what they know, their food preferences are also largely shaped by those of their parents and carers. So family food practices have a huge impact on what children choose to eat.
At The New Luncher, our ethos is Food is Education. Our menus include as wide a variety as possible to introduce new foods, flavours and textures to your children. Importantly, we hope that in doing so, our lunchers will be equipped with new food knowledge and to share this with their families.
Georgine Leung, Head of Nutrition, The New Luncher
I am in charge of establishing the nutrition guidelines and validating every menu for The New Luncher. I publish here regularly my best tips regarding nutrition and education, as The New Luncher's nutritionist and as a busy mom of 2!