I know I’ve mentioned before that Master Frugal is a very fussy eater and I’ve also shared how he has become more willing to try new foods as he’s got older.
The thing is, he’s still not great and there are a lot of foods that he won’t eat and I worry that he’s not always getting the right types of food – especially when we’re away from home. When we went to Butlins recently, there was often very little healthy food that he liked so it was hot dogs, burgers and chips most nights for him which clearly isn’t ideal.
It’s been on my mind quite a lot over the last few weeks as I’ve been trying to think of a way to get him to want to try new things.
I’ve tried getting him to cook things with me and that doesn’t work with him as he only wants to cook things he knows he wants to eat at the end of it although this worked a treat with Miss Frugal when she was younger.
We’ve tried growing our own but we’ve never had great success with the growing side of things and to be fair, fruit and veg are things that he actually likes!
I’ve even tried making the food pretty but he isn’t swayed by a pretty face either.
The last thing we tried was a reward chart (desperate times all for desperate measures 😉 ) but I stopped that because it felt like he was trying them for the sake of the reward if you know what I mean. Not that that would have been a bad thing but he was literally eating the minimum that he could as fast as possible and wasn’t actually tasting the food so he didn’t really discover if he liked it or not.
So the problem that I had was getting him to want to try them, to want to discover new foods that he liked and enjoyed.
I think I *may* have cracked it although it has involved some sneakiness I’m afraid to say.
Last week, he was feeling a bit poorly with a tummy ache and even though I suspected that it was down to the fact that someone he had been playing with had been ill earlier in the week, I told him I thought it was because he wasn’t eating properly and that I was considering taking him to the Drs. He asked what would happen and I said that the Dr would probably tell us that he needed to eat a wider variety of food and he might even tell us what foods he had to try.
That upset him and I did feel bad but I needed to make him want to try new food so I ran with it. I explained that we could try to sort things without going to the Dr but that he would have to be more open to trying new things. He agreed at the time because he had a poorly tummy so we snuggled in bed and chatted about the different foods he could try.
The next day was typically my long day at work where I am in between 11 and 8 so I miss all meals but breakfast and I didn’t want Mr Frugal in charge of ‘Operation Try New Stuff’ do I decided we’d try one new thing at breakfast – honey! I would love him to like honey as I know that Manuka honey is great for your health but he’s always turned his nose up before, mainly due to the smell according to him. We put some honey on a spoon and armed him with a glass of water. Just look at his face! And this is before he tasted it:
I encouraged him to just touch it with his tongue to see what he thought first and said that he didn’t have to eat it all, that what we were doing wasn’t about eating foods he didn’t like but about discovering foods that he did like. He licked it once, then again and then put a tiny bit on his tongue before eventually eating the whole spoonful and even though he wasn’t overly keen, at least he tried it and was open to doing so. And actually, he says he likes it and has eaten it again once since then (although this may have been to prove a point as he put it on the like side of his chart).
We’ve since tried lots of new foods and we have post it notes on the back of our kitchen door (any excuse for a post it) with spaces for foods he doesn’t like, foods he likes and will eat again and a bit in the middle for if he’s on the fence.
I’m not going to say that he’s magically over his fussiness but he’s trying and the more he tries, the easier it seems to get for him to do.
We’ve challenged him to find 25 new things that he likes to eat so I’ll let you know how he gets on.
Any suggestions as to what we could get him to try?