Handy Tips for Fussy Eaters #5

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I love hearing stories from other mums about dinnertime issues. For one, it makes me feel a lot better about my own picky eaters; for another, they often have some really creative ways of dealing with their kids and food.

My own boys love to have “strong competitions” with their dad when they’ve eaten a vegetable. Obviously, the more vegetables they’ve consumed, the more likely Dad is to be defeated. 😉

But I particularly love the approach of one mother I’ve come across. (Sorry, I haven’t had nearly as much sleep over the past six years as I would need in order to remember this mum’s name!) She urged me to take the dinnertime pressure off myself and my sons. She knew that kids need to be very familiar with a food before they will eat it. So she presented a new food to her child with varying degrees of expectation…

The first few times she served a new food to her child she told him not to eat it. (Huh?) Instead, she asked him simply to touch it. They would talk about how it felt, whether it was hard or squishy, the colour, the size of it. The next few times she would ask him to give the new food a kiss. (Nawwwwww…) Next time, to put it in his mouth, without chewing, just to feel it in there. I guess you can guess how this story ends…

I’m not sure I quite have the patience for this. I was raised in a “stay at the table until your finish your plate” household. But I am trying to find a balance, and I think taking the pressure off is a nice place to start.

Do you have the patience to try this method with your kids?

Photo credit: Bob.Fornal / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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The best Playdoh recipe EVER.

ImageIt’s getting colder now and some days are too downright blah to leave the house. We had a whole weekend of rain a couple of weeks ago, and everyone starts to go a wee bit stir-crazy after a while.

It does make you get creative, though! We pulled out the old puzzles, the kids built a fort, I cleaned it up, we played games, I cleaned them up, and we even fished out the old Playdoh. It has probably been over a year since the boys have had a Playdoh fix, and the current stash was starting to look kind of… manky. So back to the recipe book we went, and whipped up a new batch. We threw a few drops of Peppermint Essence into the mix, which is supposed to make it last longer. It does last for ages and it sure makes my boys smell lovely. 🙂

Print this recipe off and pop it in your cupboard for the next time you’re desperate to entertain the kids. It doesn’t need cooking, so except for pouring in the boiling water, the kids can even help you make it!

What’s your fail-safe rainy day activity?

  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 tbspn cream of tartar, sifted
  • 2 tbspn cooking oil
  • food colouring
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • a splash of peppermint essence (optional)

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. When it comes together take it out of the bowl and knead until it looks like, um… Playdoh. Careful, it will be quite warm at this point, so make sure the kids only help when it cools.

If you want more than one colour, divide uncoloured mixed dough into portions and work in a different food colouring to each one. I’ve even seen people put glitter in, but I’ll leave that for when my kids are over at YOUR house… 😉