What Causes Picky Eating?
Children can become picky eaters for several reasons. Some children are inherently more sensitive to taste, smell and texture. Other children develop picky eating habits by copying their parents’ selective eating habits.
Picky eating habits are more likely to develop when parents punish, bribe or reward their children’s eating behaviours. The goal for feeding picky eating children should be to try new foods early on and to keep food from starting a battle.
Cooking tricks and tips like blending vegetables into pasta sauces are all well and good for families who have an abundance of time to make home-cooked dinners every day, but this can be a real challenge for busy parents.
The Hey Fresto Kids ready meals range can be a nutritious and delicious option for families that are short on time. You will find there are plenty of options for picky eaters for all budgets and tastes.
Our best children’s meals for fussy eaters
Spaghetti bolognese is a family favourite that can be secretly packed full of goodness that your most fussy little ones won’t even notice. This meal is one of the best sellers in our kid’s ready meals range, and for good reason. Children will love the tasty blend of beef mince ragu on spaghetti pasta. Tomato and onion are cooked into the sauce and sure to be undetected by even the pickiest of eaters, so you can be sure they are getting one of their five a day.
Curry might not be your first thought when choosing a child’s meals for fussy eaters, but this one should not be dismissed. Bite-sized chicken pieces are cooked into an extra mild curry sauce and mixed with favourite fruits like sultanas. The sauce is yoghurt-based making it an excellent option for little ones, and sweet spices are used to create a delicious flavour designed just for kids.
If you struggle to get your picky eaters to eat their vegetables, then this is the perfect kid’s ready meal for you. A tasty classic, macaroni cheese is packed full of nutritious veggies that your little ones won’t even notice. Cauliflower and onion make up the base of this yummy cheese sauce and ensures that your children will be getting one of their five a day from their dinner.
When it comes to kids ready meals, this is a firm favourite among both parents and children. Ready to eat in just 25 minutes, this dish is made from beef mince and garden peas in sauce, topped with sweet potato mash. Making up 2 of their five a day, this dinner is perfect for fussy eaters who might usually turn their nose up at sweet potatoes or peas.
Most fussy eaters crave simplicity in their meals, which is exactly what this dish offers. A super simple Italian tomato sauce is paired with penne pasta for an easy yet delicious dinner for all ages. Packed full of tomatoes, this children’s meal is one of their five a day and also vegan friendly.
Noodles are a fun dinner for even the fussiest of eaters, and this oriental dish makes a scrumptious meal for everyone. Diced chicken breast is mixed with noodles, baby corn and red pepper and coated in a mild sweet and sour sauce. With no added salt, this kid’s ready meal is a sweet way to encourage fussy children to try new things.
Here at Hey Fresto! we offer a wide range of kids ready meals, which are perfect for fussy eaters and food lovers. Choose their favourites and order now for delivery straight to your door.
Tips for parents of fussy eaters
Here are some great tips taken from the NHS to help with your picky eaters:
- Give your child the same food as the rest of the family, but remember not to add salt to your child’s food. Check the label of any food product you use to make family meals.
- The best way for your child to learn to eat and enjoy new foods is to copy you. Try to eat with them as often as you can.
- Give small portions and praise your child for eating, even if they only eat a little.
- If your child rejects the food, do not force them to eat it. Just take the food away without saying anything. Try to stay calm, even if it’s very frustrating. Try the food again another time.
- Do not leave meals until your child is too hungry or tired to eat.
- Your child may be a slow eater, so be patient.
- Do not give your child too many snacks between meals – 2 healthy snacks a day is plenty.
- Do not use food as a reward. Your child may think of sweets as nice and vegetables as nasty. Instead, reward them with a trip to the park or promise to play a game with them.
- Make mealtimes enjoyable and not just about eating. Sit down and chat about other things.
- If you know any other children of the same age who are good eaters, ask them round for tea. But do not talk too much about how good the other children are.
- Ask an adult that your child likes and looks up to eat with you. Sometimes a child eats for someone else, such as a grandparent, without fuss.
- Changing how you serve a portion of food may make it more appealing. For example, your child might refuse cooked carrots but enjoy raw grated carrots.