Ever sent your child off to bed without dinner? Celebrity chef Curtis Stone says we should to combat picky eaters making a fuss at mealtimes.
Pandering to kids at the dinner table only creates more problems, he says, and the Australian chef is urging parents to make their children sit there to eat prepared meals – or go without.
Stone, who now lives in the US with his actress wife Lindsay Price and their two sons, Hudson, 4, and Emerson, 1, says parents should store uneaten food in the fridge and offer it to children again later on.
He also plays a hard line when it comes to eating between meals, saying children should not eat any snacks at all.
Meals should be nutritious and packed with vegies, says Stone, who owns a restaurant in LA.
“Say you make a fish pie and the kids won’t eat it; I’d wrap it up, put it away and offer it again later when they’re hungry,” he tells the Herald Sun.
“What’s wrong with fish pie for breakfast? I’d love a fish pie for breakfast.
“I think the problem is too many parents worry about their kids being hungry that they let their children dictate what they eat.
“I don’t see the big deal in letting kids go hungry a few times. They’ll eat when they’re hungry.”
Stone says he always tries to feed his boys only healthy food and urges parents to be more careful about the food they give their children.
“Your kid is going to embrace whatever you expose them to, right, that’s just a fact of life,” he says.
“People tell you, ‘no, no my kid likes this or my kid likes that’. My opinion is that’s just not accurate.”
Nutrition Australia advises parents of picky eaters to keep offering new foods, even if your kids reject them at first.
Children “need to see and taste new foods several times” before they become familiar and are accepted.
Don’t lose your cool over dinner either, say the experts: “Simply remove leftover food from the table (and perhaps offer it again) but don’t let your kids have a snack an hour later”.
Our recent post on a study of Australian preschoolers seems to have come up with similar advice. The research results show the best way for parents to get their children to eat well is to eat healthy food in front of them.
(via Herald Sun, images via Instagram)