Do you have a picky eater? I understand what you are going through, I truly do. To spend hours in the kitchen cooking a nutritious family meal, only for your child to say ‘yuck’ and completely disregard what you’ve served them.
How many times have you heard your picky eater say, “I don’t like that” based only on how it looks on the plate, without even tasting it? If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard it, I would be sailing away on my private yacht as I type this article!
It’s a topic that is close to my heart (which is why I started my group), as I understand how frustrating this can be as a parent. We want our child to be enjoying nutritious food, why must they make it so hard for us?
Learn how Mashblox can help your picky eater
I’ve published a number of articles on this in the past, with suggestions on food exploration activities you can try, as well as ways of making food fun, as well as some general tips on how you prepare their food.
A lot of the time, fussy eating isn’t about taste at all. It’s about the way the food looks, feels in their hands, dangles on a spoon or fork, or something about the way they’re being fed.
But Mashblox only discovered this when they started evaluating their product consumer research, and discovering kids that wouldn’t touch fresh banana, porridge, or even spinach or avocado, that will eat it for the first time out of their self-feeding product.
Say what? Yep. They wouldn’t eat it from their plates. They wouldn’t eat it off a spoon. But throw it into a silicone cube and suddenly they are intrigued. They enjoy the feel of that squishy box in their fingers… and sure enough they enjoyed these foods for the very first time! #winning
Mashblox are soft and tactile, hollow silicone building blocks for serving a range of textures in between spaghetti bolognese or frozen fruit slushies.
They say they “make good foods fun” by bringing play to the table, but even kids are weighing in, with Mrs.Toby’s 3.5 y/o J asserting that: “Cube risotto is better than bowl risotto”.
The soft silicone window mutes food colours and textures without obscuring them, gives them a handle to avoid slippery, slimy or gooey sensory stimuli, and gives them control of their own meal.
This is important, if you think about it. When you’re two feet high, your clothes, activities, bed times, friends, and whole world is chosen for you. The first thing you do have any say over is what you’ll accept in your mouth. So fussy eating can be a very important step to independence! But it can obviously be stressful or frustrating for time-poor parents.
Low maintenance portable feeding solutions help here too. Mashblox cube design keeps a lot of the splatter contained if a meal needs to continue over an outing, so kids can eat at their own pace.
Sometimes it’s just that food is boring to them – this is part of why we labour to make foods decorative and exciting to them. If they’re hungry they’ll eat, but these self-feeding blocks can ease the process by bringing playtime into mealtime.
Every expert recommendation you might read on fussy eating has several pieces of advice in common:
- Make food colourful
- Serve child size portions
- Let them use their hands! Make it a game!
- Or let them have control.
All of these points can be addressed any number of ways with different foods, but sometimes a tool really does make it easy.
How to re-introduce previously rejected foods
Mashblox inventor and founder Alix offered us this suggested technique to phase kids onto foods they’ve always rejected:
- Start putting something of a similar texture (and colour, if they’re particularly sensitive to sensory stimuli). Some foods that work really well in them are:
- Weetbix & milk
- Scrambled egg
- Mash pumpkin, potato or carrot
- Cottage pie
- Spaghetti or lentil bolognese
- Make Mashblox a normal part of mealtimes, and for the first week or so, make sure you consistently serve foods you know they like
- Phase onto desired food prepared at similar texture e.g. 14 month old Madelyn started on Weetbix and milk, then transitioned to a yoghurt, peas and spinach blend.
- Don’t act too surprised – you’ll put them off
- Please let her know how it goes! Tag your success story with #Mashblox, #MakesGoodFoodsFun to help other parents.
Try Mashblox for yourself, and score yourself an awesome discount!
Rachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats. She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum!
Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.