time flies when you're being a mum

...sneaky veggies for your fussy eaters!

09 Mar, 2016

This is a delicious, nutritious Spaghetti Bolognese recipe with a twist…hidden veggies!

Hidden Vegetables Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

I’m all for introducing whole vegetables to my fussy eater.

I wrote about how we’ve been using a sticker chart with some success to get from NO VEGGIES to licking a pea to eating a carrot, and I think a love of veg is hugely important. I am their biggest fan.

But the going is slow and in the mean time, sometimes (especially on a school night or after a busy week) I just need an easy win and to know my fussy boy is getting something really good and wholesome inside him.

Hence this Spaghetti Bolognese recipe with hidden veg!

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe with Hidden Veg

Here’s a quick 1 min video to give you an idea of what’s involved and scroll down for full recipe details…

 

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3 comments.

24 Sep, 2015

Back in June I decided it was time to deal with Reuben’s fussy eating. Since the age of one he had refused to eat anything that wasn’t beige, with the exception of fruit, and absolutely no meat or vegetables (unless you hid them, of course). I went through a whole range of emotions from feeling like a failure and a terrible mother, to acceptance and cutting myself some slack (I highly recommend going with the latter, by the way).

I wrote a post about How to cope with a fussy eater well over a year ago to help me deal with it, as really it was only me who was suffering. And, while I was happily going along with that process and there were some improvements (the addition of spaghetti Bolognese was a huge turning point), I felt at nearly 3 it really was time to try something new. Enter the sticker chart (here’s a free Halloween sticker chart I made yesterday!).

Fussy eater? Then check out these 10 Tips for sticker chart success! (more…)

14 comments.

23 Sep, 2015

Reuben is an incredibly fussy eater but we’ve recently been having some success with a sticker chart. I’ve written about what we did and my tips for fussy eaters and succeeding with a sticker chart here…but basically, I think the combination of him turning 3, so his understanding had increased, and the power of a reward system has really paid off!

There are tons of great charts out there but I struggled to find anything generic that could be used for anything. Many of the charts are related to toilet training or chores, not so much for little ones with a penchant for beige food (although I’m sure they’re out there). Whilst I was writing up my tips, I thought for fun I would create my own sticker chart.

Since we’re now in the run up to Halloween, why not do a Halloween themed Sticker Chart.

I’ve left it blank so you can use it for any reward system you like, not just for food, and left a space where you can write your child’s name.

I guess the prize for completing it could be something like go to a Halloween Party or to go trick or treating? Or both?! Since there’s only 12 spaces, you may need to complete 2 lots of the chart before the big day!

What do you need the power of the sticker chart to help you with?!

Halloween Sticker Chart

Just click the image you want and press print

Orange Sticker Chart

Halloween sticker chart - free printable sticker chart / reward chart

White Sticker Chart

Halloween sticker chart - free printable sticker chart / reward chart

9 comments.

25 Jun, 2014

After reading yesterday all about how sensory play could be the key to helping Reuben eat a wider variety of food, I scoured the house in search of ‘sensory stuff’. I already had the original sensory box full of pinto beans, bow ties, garden tools and some plastic eggs, but Reuben was pretty bored of that, so I was on the hunt for something new and I found these things…

1. some little trucks that Reuben LOVES

2. some little animals he’s less interested in ATM

3. some sugar, salt and gluten free rice puffs that look and taste like polystyrene – yak

4. some Tupperware

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

I chose to go with the rice and diggers, set a blanket outside and put the box in the middle to try and catch as much of the polystyrene ‘rice’ as possible (it will never hold it all)! And this is how it went down.

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

He ignored me for a few minutes because he was busy with his garage but once he spotted it, yeah man…oh at this point I should mention that Rueben is wearing a dirty t-shirt and some PJ bottoms. Keeping it real people.

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

He delicately played for a few minutes picking up some puffs of rice and putting them in the tipper truck until…

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

…he worked out they were edible and shoved the biggest handful into his mouth. Bearing in mind how minging they taste and he had previously refused them on these grounds, this is mainly because I’d been trying to get him to eat some different stuff at lunch by not giving him as much bread – it didn’t work so he was probably starving at this point.

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

He munched for a while, then tipped it all out (so glad of the blanket) and sat in it…

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

…then danced in it…

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

…and ran through it.

Sensory play using stuff around the house! Rice puffs, pinto beans, bow tie pasta, little toys, they all make for great sensory play! http://www.mumsdays.com/more-sensory-play/

Quite fun really!

Do you do any sensory play with your kids? What sort of everyday stuff do you use?

2 comments.

24 Jun, 2014

I’ve been through a range of emotions today about picky eaters thanks to an AMAZING website I’ve just come across, called Your Kid’s Table written by Alisha Grogan, a paediatric occupational therapist. The site is a wealth of fascinating information about early child development, weaning, sensory play and helping picky eaters.

Starting with this article, 5 Reasons Kids Refuse to Eat, it has completely opened my eyes about what could potentially be causing Reuben’s eating habits.

I’ve mentioned before that Reuben eats a very limited amount of food (unless it’s junk or pudding) – it’s not the quantity that’s the problem but the variety. He’s definitely a hungry boy but despite the large array of food I put in front of him, he would (and does) eat toast and fruit for every meal. I try to not let it bother me but it’s bubbling under the surface all the time just waiting for some PMT to bring it out. One of the things that definitely stood out from Alicia’s top 5 was her description of Sensory.

“Simply put, if something feels gross in their mouth or on their hands, they aren’t going to eat it.”

I think Reuben could have this! It would explain why he won’t even touch stew or mashed potato, and would also explain his issue with have wet things (that he will eat, like porridge or scrambled eggs) on his hands or clothes.

How sensory play can help your picky eaters to eat! http://www.mumsdays.com/sensory-play/

Alisha suggests that to get over this kids should do lots of sensory play and playing with food to get used to different textures. One of things you can do is the good old sensory bin – do you remember I did one with Reuben back in Easter time? She has a bunch of ideas for both wet and dry sensory bins here, many of which I bet you have in your house right now! But she also mentions more physical things like this awesome looking Sensory Pillow Mountains because “Movement and exploration are also key components to many more sensory play ideas”. I had no idea but I’m well up for that on Saturday morning!

How sensory play can help your picky eaters to eat! http://www.mumsdays.com/sensory-play/

Chicken salad and sandwich

She also suggests that after a meal, any uneaten food should be played with. We did this yesterday with Reuben’s ‘chicken salad’. There was no way on God’s green earth he was going to eat it, but having it on the same plate and then playing with it was totally progress! Once he had finished his sandwich (this photo was a bit of an afterthought and he’d already eaten one of them), we lifted it up and dropped the pieces, and then I got him a pot and moved some bits to it, trying to encourage him to count. He wasn’t that interested but he did touch it and I felt it was a start!

It’s going to be slow going but at least I feel like I have an actual strategy! Thank you Alisha, your site is a veritable goldmine. Bedtime reading for the next few months?!

Do you have any picky eaters? Have you had any success with introducing some of the ideas above and getting them to eat more?! Or are you with me and going to give it a try?

3 comments.

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