Recently we posted our Lunch Box Tips for Coping with Fussy Eaters on the Lunchbox World website in the Hints and Tips section. If you haven’t read it but do have a fussy eater be sure to hop over and check it out.
I am still in shock. I just have to share this fussy eater story with you.
Having a fussy 20 year old move in for 1 month – how to handle it
Two weeks ago my step-son, we’ll call him “Joberus” moved in with us for one month. He’s on a work placement in London, so has come to stay with us, which is great, as it’ll give us a chance to make up for lost years, and we’ll be able to get to know one another better. Luckily we have the room so he can have his own room, and we are close enough to London for the commute, but far enough away in the countryside to benefit from the fresher air …
Of course we have all been adjusting to having a twenty year old in the house, the comings and goings at odd hours, eating with us, or not, the extra washing etc …
Anyway, I digress.
I’ve known Joberus since he was 4 years old and what a fussy eater he was. when I first met him. He didn’t like fruit, he didn’t like veg, and had a real thing about tomatoes. Unsurprisingly, he loved ketchup, but tomato, raw or cooked, no thank you. That used to line the edge of the plate.
Yet tomato and mozarella pasta bake was, he claimed, his favourite dish whenever he came with his sister to stay with us.! Aren’t fussy eaters funny!! Their logic is amazing! He always left an edge filled plate of tomato chunks, or carefully picked out all the vegetables. Clearly I failed to disguise them very well… (I’ve since learnt from my mistakes for the younger brood…)
To my total amazement, 16 years on, it’s like he never was this fussy eater I first met. He’s now eating raw tomato, cooked tomato, salad, olives even, cucumber, spring onions, all sorts of fruit – strawberries, raspberries, you name it, he eats it… It may not be his favourite, but in his words “I know it’s healthy and it’s good for me!”
So what happened? What changed?
When I asked him what’s happened? When was the change, he replied, “Sixth Form”. He started eating tomato in a sandwich in the sixth form. He decided it was healthy, he needed to eat a balanced diet. (These are his words, I kid you not).
I am still gob-smacked!
So you see, sometimes it takes peer pressure or just years of being exposed to fruit and veg to taste it, to try it. They say you should try something 10 times to really know whether you like it or not. First time you might find the thought unappealing or the texture. I am sure I read it somewhere in the Annabel Karmel early weaning books, that kids, toddlers need to try something 10 times…
So now, I am buying more fruit and veg than ever, and Joberus is largely the one eating it!
The moral of the story
So you see, fussy eaters do grow up.
They do try out new flavours. Perhaps it is peer pressure. Perhaps it is this second phase when as late teenagers they try out new flavours, new tastes, try out alcohol… They are more receptive to new tastes… I mean, do you remember the first time you tried beer or wine?!
So there is hope for our youngest, King Julien, the fussiest of the brood.
So my latest tip is to NOT focus on the fussy eating, encourage the positive, not dwell on the negative, persevere, without making it obvious, and I’m sure they’ll come around… Maybe it’ll be a few years yet, well at least another 10, but perhaps we’ll get there…
I’m full of hope.
Let me know if you’ve any stories of fussy eaters and how you turned them around, resulting in a hope story like this.
Thanks for stopping by
The Lunchbox World Team x