The Confident Eater

Mum actions blog advice

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Mum actions blog advice

It is my mission to share information that educates and empowers parents around fussy eating.

My goal is to find budget-friendly ways to give you confidence to take control back of feeding and use this to comfortably support your child to taste and add new foods.

I also do post recipe ideas that are often less about the food and more about ideas you can use to gently support your child to take a step in a new direction.

One of the mum’s who follows our Facebook page sent me a message to explain how helpful the combination of blog advice and foods concepts were.

She totally ‘got’ that food is important, but that the approach is probably more important.

How mum actions advice

If your child refuses even something slightly new, whatever food you serve is going to be a fail.

Therefore, it’s important to work both on the approach and the food.

For example, if you have a child who is uncomfortable around food, banging down a new food on the plate is rarely going to produce great results. It is about gently introducing things, building a comfort level, and helping them to believe that they can eat something new comfortably.

Often the process takes time and requires enormous patience on the parent’s behalf, but it really can support even the most selective of eaters to make progress.

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Working on ways to build that comfort as soon as things start going awry (or straight away if your child has never been a good eater) helps.

Message about how Mum actions advice

I was delighted to receive the following message from the mum of a 3, year old, who has been using blog posts to help her daughter eat more variety. I’m sure many of you can relate to what she’s saying:

In Mum’s words

Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for all the posts you share on Facebook. My daughter (almost 3) has been so painfully fussy since age 1 and it has caused me SO MUCH stress and anxiety that she wasn’t getting what she needed. With your tips I am starting to turn our dinners into a positive time which has led to her actually trying things other than bread, cheese and peanut butter! We started off doing a once a week pancake night, which she loved and I slowly made them healthier over time, the kids loved this. With each meal I don’t try and make her have an adults version of it but instead a kids version. For example tonight we had tacos for the first time. I let her use the tongs to pick out what she wanted and even though it was mostly just cheese and carrot she did eat a little bit of lettuce too and that feels like a massive win from how things have been. I asked her to try some of the vegetarian mince and she did so happily and even though she spat that out I’m so happy I can ask her to try things finally. So thanks for showing me how I can introduce foods to her and just be happy with her sampling as we can continue to build on that.
I felt super alone with reading other fussy eater blogs where my youngest child just would just never eat those things. Your food ideas are much more practical! I am happy for you to share my story I’m really grateful for all the tips!

Mum actions blog advice, Judith Yeabsley|Fussy Eating NZ, happy mum #MumActionsBlogAdvice, #MumActionsBlogAdviceForFussyEaters, #MumActionsBlogAdviceForPickyEaters, #TryNewFoods, #TheConfidentEater, #FussyEatingNZ, #HelpForFussyEating, #HelpForFussyEaters, #FussyEater, #FussyEating, #PickyEater, #PickyEating, #SupportForFussyEaters, #SupportForPickyEaters, #CreatingConfidentEaters, #TryNewFood #PickyEatingNZ #HelpForPickyEaters, #HelpForPickyEating, #Wellington, #NZ, #JudithYeabsley

I’d also like to take a moment and respond to some of the things written by mum. Often we learn a lot from what’s happening for other families.

How mum actions advice is important

1. Identify problems early – There is a LOT of misinformation about feeding. One of these areas is parents being told not to worry if their child is not eating when they are really young as it’s all about the exploring and learning.

Yes, milk is the primary food source for infants, however, eating is a skill that is learned, and:

i) It’s learned sequentially – which means if a baby skips a step (common) then it may cause ongoing difficulty.

ii) Learning windows exist – this means that if your baby does not, for example, learn to chew solids during the optimal time to learn, they may then struggle later.

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Therefore, at 10 months your baby (born on or around their due date) should be able to manage family foods. If this is not the case, then it’s a little alarm ringing. Not a cause for panic, but definitely to take a look at what is happening and why.

Similarly, if your child is over 12 months and food is a real challenge already, it is unlikely it is just going to magically come good.

Fortunately, as a parent you can do so many things to support your child, whether 12 months or 12 years to eat more widely.

You can gradually build comfort and start to change the way they approach food and feeding.

2. Stress & anxiety are counterproductive – Parents often feel a lot of stress and anxiety around what their child does and doesn’t eat.

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Although perfectly normal, the worry can really affect your child’s eating. As you, as the parent are their most important relationship, what you convey to them can be either helpful or unhelpful.

If you’re inadvertently introducing stress at the meal table, it can often make your child feel nervous around food too. If they already have an inbuilt discomfort in regard to eating, this can be magnified.

3. A positive eating environment – can make a huge difference. The more relaxed we are, the more likely we are to eat.
Plus, if mealtimes are fun and your child looks forward to them, it’s going to be far more likely that they will eat.

Go mum for having pancake dinners. What a great way to introduce some fun.

4. Mum offered choice – in the message mum reveals many great strategies and practices she’s intuitively put into place. For example, allowing her daughter some choice and some autonomy.

Ensuring your child has control but within boundaries can change the feeding dynamic.

5. Understanding what progress looks like – parents often prevent progress by discounting steps forward.

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In the message mum recognised that eating a tiny piece of lettuce was huge. It is not about the volume it is about willingly trying a new food.

Every time this happens it’s a big win. Volume often comes with time and confidence.

6. Eating anything new is huge – (particularly if this is not common for your child). The little girl put the vegetarian mince in her mouth – even though she promptly spat it out. Putting anything into the mouth is a big step forward.

Also, new foods will often not be a win right from the start, so I expect a LOT of ‘no’s’ to start with.

7. Fussy eating can be isolating – When your child does not eat well, you often feel as though you’re alone.

Spoiler alert ** you’re not!

It can also be disempowering if you feel that everyone else’s child can eat these ‘fussy eater recipes’ and yours can’t.

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However, I’m here to tell you that 99% of the children in the families I work with couldn’t eat them either! YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

If you haven’t checked out the food concepts on FB please do have a look:

If you have friends or relatives with picky eaters please invite them to follow the page, or even better sign up for the newsletter. That way, you never miss anything:

However, if you find that even the simplest food concepts are not working for you and whatever you try is a fail, it’s probably time to get some additional support with your approach. I’m happy to speak to any parent who would like to know whether what we do is a fit for their family. Or, to give you an opinion as to where you’re up to with food and feeding:

Judith, MA Cantab (Cambridge University), MSc Psychology (first-class honours) Massey University, is an AOTA accredited picky eating advisor and internationally certified nutritional therapist. She works with 100+ families every year resolving fussy eating and returning pleasure and joy to the meal table.

She is also mum to two boys and the author of Creating Confident Eaters and Winner Winner I Eat Dinner. Her dream is that every child is able to approach food from a place of safety and joy, not fear.

Learn more about Judith here:

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