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Don’t stress with fussy eaters

YUMMY: Naevia, 2, and Alex, 4, Logue are two Grafton kids who love their lunchtime menu. Photo Debrah Novak
YUMMY: Naevia, 2, and Alex, 4, Logue are two Grafton kids who love their lunchtime menu. Photo Debrah Novak

ALEX and Naevia Logue from Grafton are typical kids who don't always eat what's dished up at meal times.

Sound familiar?

While mum Roslyn Logue says they can sometimes be fussy eaters, she doesn't stress about it.

"When the two-year-old (Naevia) first started eating she ate anything - she was great," Mrs Logue said.

"Now she's in a fussy phase and it's hit and miss.

"My son (Alex, aged 4) is the same: he went through a phase where he'd eat raw broccoli - but that didn't last long.

"But neither are so fussy as to eat only chicken nuggets like you sometimes hear about with other families."

Mrs Logue said she believed taking a no-pressure approach to meal times was the key to co-operation.

"I can't see how forcing kids to eat anything can have a positive outcome," she said. "My kids have always been fed the same meal we were eating at the dinner table. If they aren't hungry at dinner they don't have to eat but they don't get food later either.

"If they don't like what we are having they can have porridge or Weet-Bix.

"I keep putting salad and veg on the plate and I don't disguise the vegies because hiding them might lead to not wanting to eat them whole as adults."

She said offering healthy snacks in between meals also helped to ensure they ate well.

"Kids eat when they're hungry; even if it's not at set mealtimes. They eat a lot of fruit and veg throughout the day as snacks.

Mrs Logue is one of thousands of busy mums who face the daily challenge of managing meal times with tiresome toddlers and picky preschoolers.

A recent survey of 1000 NSW families revealed 75% of parents struggle to get kids to eat healthy foods, with many hiding healthy ingredients in other foods.

According to the Galaxy survey, one in 10 will offer their kids a reward for good eating behaviour, while one in 10 mums found it was a daily struggle to get their kids to eat healthy foods.

The research was conducted by Galaxy and commissioned by Wonder White.

FOOD FACTS

The Galaxy Survey of 1000 families in NSW revealed:

 Snacks (31%) and dinner (26%) the hardest times to manage children's eating habits, with breakfast was slightly easier (18%);

 Lunch was found to be the least challenging meal to get kids to eat healthy foods.

 Mums reported two thirds of kids preferred white bread over (22%) and wholegrain (15%), while most popular sandwich fillings included cold meat (53%), Vegemite (38%), cheese (37%), jam (20%) and salad (19%).

Topics:  children, food, meals, vegetables



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