The Confident Eater

Structure and routines are important even in uncertainty. With eating, many children do manage far better when there are parameters, there is routine, and they know what to expect. #supportingapickyeater #supportingafussyeater #pickyeater # pickyeating #helppickyeater #helpfussyeater #helpingpickyeater #helpingfussyeater #helppickyeating #helpfussyeating #fussyeating #judithyeabsley #fussyeater #theconfidenteater #addingfoods #wellington #NZ #creatingconfidenteaters #facebookgroup

Structure & routines are important even in uncertainty

Structure and routines are important even in uncertainty

I feel we’re all entering a whole new world. There are many unknowns and that alone can be anxiety producing.

On the other side when we have children, maintaining routines is a great way to support them to remain calm.

What may happen

There could well be a time when schools close for an unknown period. It’s already happened in much of Europe, the US and now the UK. This is going to be a challenge for many of us on a number of levels. On the other hand, it is also going to remove a lot of the oft self-imposed busyness.

No dashing to be at Kindy/school at a certain time, no after school or weekend activities. In fact, very little structure. Which can be a real positive. It can also throw up challenges for those of our children that thrive on knowing exactly what is happening and when.

In regards to eating

With eating, many children do manage far better when there are parameters, there is routine, and they know what to expect. Faced with school closures, I will be sharing many of the strategies I have developed that keep picky eaters on track, or that support children in general to eat more competently.

A golden opportunity

Being at home with our children is also a great time for supporting them to eat more widely. Much of what I would help implement in my programs is a plan for each day, so parents know exactly how to approach each meal, and their children get into routines that work easily for everyone.

I’d love to be able to turn some of the upheaval into an excellent opportunity for us to work on eating better as families and specifically how we can support our child to eat more widely and more joyfully.

There are 3 key ways I feel I can help:

  1. Join Creating Confident Eaters, our free Facebook group. In here I will be doing FB lives on everything from meal planning to strategies to support a fussy eater. I will also be recipe developing, with a focus on picky eater friendly dishes:
  2. Work through Creating Confident Eaters, THE guide for picky eaters. I am really happy to offer support on how to best use this for your family:
  3. Book in a no-cost personal call. I’m happy to look at what the current situation is and recommend solutions. Having the children not overwhelmed and overtired by all the after school activities is a great time to focus on getting issues resolved:

What else can you do?

There are some simple routine/structure concepts that we can all work on and that do help our child to eat well.

  1. The timing of meals and snacks is a crucial part of supporting our child to eat well. It’s not about the exact time, but making sure we have defined eating opportunities and time between them for our child to get a bit hungry.
  2. Our child knowing what to expect at meals and snacks can be very comforting. This doesn’t mean everything has to be exactly the same but knowing that breakfast is choose your own from 2 choices, afternoon tea is generally a platter with a few different items, supper is yoghurt and fruit, for example, gives structure and builds expectations (which are comforting).
  3. Often children feel secure when they know what’s going to happen and that what is going to happen is within their comfort zone. This can take several different forms. For example, everyone gets to choose one meal for the week that is their favourite, there is a chart on the fridge and everyone can choose their favourite snack or breakfast x number of times each week (we can set parameters around all these so it’s not ice cream and chocolate bars!).

Judith 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.



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