How to get your fussy toddler to eat
At 3 years old my daughter is an extremely fussy eater but I can't blame her as myself and her Dad used to be just as bad or maybe even worse until our twenties. So I have had a good couple of years of practise dealing with getting a fussy toddler to eat and my solution is - make it fun!. I've often browsed Instagram and Pinterest for ideas and a couple of years ago I came across bento lunches and it has literally changed my life haha. It's about serving small portions of different foods either on a section plate or in a bento style sectioned lunchbox and because there are so many different sections it helps me to serve her the correct portion sizes for her age but most importantly it prompts me to serve her a variety of food groups and reminds me to include some healthy ones such as fruit or vegetables. Tips for making it fun
- Use sandwich (or cookie) cutters to shape sandwiches into fun themes or cut up a tortilla wrap into mini sandwich swirls.
- Put everything on a stick - fruit kebab's check, sandwich sticks check!
- Include fun little forks. My daughter doesn't like getting her hands messy whilst touching fruit so these little animal or eyeball forks are fun and keep her hands mess free. I buy them from eBay they are very cheap to buy usually around £1 a set posted.
- Let them built their own sandwiches - put in plain pieces of tortilla or crackers and then cheese and ham or other foods separately and they can build their own sandwich. We all loved (or may still love) the novelty of a Dairylea Lunchable.
I've been making her these now for over 2 years and it's definitely a winning formula for us. Bento lunches don't have to be expensive some lunch boxes are but I've seen Sistema style ones for a couple of pounds down my local Quality Save/Home & Bargains but for me a part of it that I like is being eco-friendly by reusing the same lunchbox and not including plastic wrap that would otherwise go to a landfill. I have been trying to be more aware of the environment and reusing as much as I can. I've had this Yumbox for over 2 years now so even though initially it was about £25 it has stood the test of time and is still going strong. I also look for materials that are bpa free as I don't want any nasty chemicals getting into my daughters food. I also recommend stainless steel materials for your lunch too, I use a Thermos most days for work (not just for soups - curry's and other leftovers are just as good) and we both have a Klean Kanteen bottle for water. I have my heart set on a Planetbox lunchbox next which is a stainless steel style bento lunch box which I plan to use for myself at work. If you would like some inspiration to get you started I recommend searching for the hashtag #bento or #bentobox on Instagram as it brings up thousands to search through. Jodie x @wigan_mum