I remember being really excited to start weaning with Erin when she was a baby. I tried to make sure that Erin tried all different kinds of tastes and flavours, especially the foods that I don’t like myself. As a fussy adult eater I wanted Erin to be more adventurous with food and to not have the issues that I do. However, I think it was when Erin was around 1 she had a really bad case of tonsillitis and after that she pretty much refused most hot foods and we struggled so much to get her to eat different things.
Sadly, this continued for such a long time and it wasn’t as easy to get her out of it as I thought it would be. At age 2 Erin started nursery which was in a private school. This meant that nursery ate lunch with the rest of the school and we thought this would be a good time for Erin to try to get back to eating normally again. It worked, which was absolutely fantastic and Erin was starting to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables. This was until the nursery closed down and she moved to another one that didn’t offer hot meals.
We plodded along until Erin started in reception last September. As a child in reception Erin is entitled to free school meals and we wanted to take advantage of this. We wanted Erin to be able to sit at lunch with her friends and eat the same things. Erin’s school changes the menu each full time, so three times a year, and this means that there is usually a mix of things she will eat and some newer foods.
The first term was a bit hit and miss and there was a few days in the three week menu rotation that we had to send Erin to school with a packed lunch. For some reason, and I can’t tell you exactly what, Erin did amazingly well during the second term and the second menu which actually was filled with foods she’d never had before. Each day I would tell her what the choice was and she just said okay I’ll try it. Apart from one meal (chilli) Erin will go to school and eat what is on the menu that day.
Sometimes, Erin comes home and tells us about what her friends have eaten and I know this has made a big difference to Erin. Before, we could maybe get Erin to eat a couple of mouthfuls of a jacket potato but now it’s something she asks to eat at school because her best friend has them too. Erin will now eat things like tomato pasta, rice and gammon, all things that she would have never eaten before.
Over the past 7 months we have also been trying to introduce new things at home and repeating the things that Erin has been eating at school. However, I really believe that Erin’s experience with being at school and how lunchtime works there has helped the most with her fussy eating.
This week we start a new menu at school which will run until the end of the school year and I can’t wait to see what Erin might try this time.
PIN IT FOR LATER
9 thoughts on “How school can influence your child’s eating habits”
My daughter’s eating improved so much once she started having school lunches. She was so fussy before but it has continued to go from strength to strength and here’s hoping it will continue to do so for Erin too!
My daughter was very similar, very picky with her foods but improved once she started school and ate with her friends. It really does help a lot!
My children are fussy eaters. We found private school helped one of them become more adventurous with foods.