Camilla Plum’s take on fussy eating

by Scandinavian mum

We have previously mentioned Camilla Plum and her cook book The Scandinavian Kitchen. She’s a Danish chef and media personality, known for her food-focused television shows, 12 cookbooks and her campaign for organic honest food. She shares willingly all her secrets in the kitchen -also on how she got her children to not only eat but also enjoy a variety of food.
All parents will experience times when their children simply will not eat. It can be very frustrating for the parents when they suddenly dislike something they loved yesterday, especially when it comes to healthy foods like vegetables.

Camilla Plum thinks fussiness at the dinner table often is the result of lack of challenges food wise. Many families eat a very narrow range of dishes like pasta with tomato sauce, fish fingers and chicken. To help our children having a healthy diet we need to ensure that we as adults have a balanced and healthy diet too.
But fussy eating can also be the result of any change in life and the child’s urge to be independent and make decisions. Food is a powerful weapon!
Fussy eating can put a strain on any parent and when you’ve had enough you need to deal with it. Camilla Plum believes that reluctant eaters often is not actually disliking the food, more the fact that they want to protest and have their own say. Plum thinks dispute and arguments should be avoided so it’s not turning the dining table into a battle field. So how do you do it? You need to stay calm and consequent. It’s a big step for many parents to take the first step in dealing with your child’s fussy eating.

Be brave and take the first step to stop fussy eating by…
making honest and delicious food. If you prepare food with love and care and serve it at a nice set table it’s more likely you all will enjoy the family meal more. Camilla Plum are of the opinion that you can’t blame children for being fuzzy eaters if all you serve is ready made, tasteless, boring food.
– removing the reason for argument. When they don’t eat or have started playing with their food, simply remove the plate and provide the dog with the delicious home made food instead. It sounds simple, but it isn’t it. It’ll get noisy and unpleasant. Still, pretend as nothing, says Camilla Plum, and remember to be consequent. And don’t be anxious if the child doesn’t eat for days, unless you GP thinks differently. Plum says long term bad eating habits are probably way more harmful.
– not serving separate food especially for your child. The children should eat with the rest of the family as it’s nothing wrong with the food being served.
– let the children eat in peace, do not force them to eat or finish, just remove the plate when the child has stopped eating. If they don’t eat, then they don’t get any food.
The rule is simply –food or no food is less important than peace instead of battle at the dinner table.

In addition to the above advice Camilla Plum thinks cooking with children is an excellent way of involving the children.
Let the children discover where food comes from by picking fruit and vegetables and let them enjoy the satisfaction of eating what you together have prepared in the kitchen.

There has not always been peace and happiness around Camilla Plum’s table either. One time, she recalls, the children didn’t want to eat, and had to go to bed without food. When they started the same fuzziness the day after she reminded them about the previous day event, and they all ate their dinner. It happened once more and the story repeated itself…
We think Camilla has a no fuss solution that’s worth trying. Let us know what’s worked for your family!
Camilla’s farm Fuglebjerrgaard’s website (Danish only) : www.fuglebjerggaard.dk

  1. Hello Scandinavian Mum,

    My name is Katerina, and I have a lively 9 month old girl whom I call “Bubu” for short. I can identify with Camilla Plum’s experiences in dealing with fussy eating. When I first started my Bubu on solids, I had to be creative – singing her favourite songs, talking, clapping, and making funny noises while waving her spoon around (what my husband calls the classic “airplane noises” tactic). After a time, she became less fussy with her food. We try to let her eat with us, in the hopes that she will learn to appreciate family mealtimes together. What’s important is having a loving, patient and peaceful attitude towards mealtimes and food in general.

    Thank you for an insightful and helpful article. I especially enjoy your practical tips, e.g. http://littlescand.wpengine.com/2011/02/08/tip-stress-free-morning/, http://littlescand.wpengine.com/2011/07/04/travelling-with-children-by-car/, and http://littlescand.wpengine.com/category/london-with-kids/. We travel to London every year, and we want the little one to enjoy her first sightseeing trip. (Sadly we will miss the CPH Kid’s Fair this August, but hopefully there will be more like it within the coming year.)

    My best to you and your family,

    Katerina & Bubu

  2. I’m so sorry, I forgot to mention this previously – as a courtesy, I wanted to tell you that I wrote about and linked to this article in my blog, citing you as the source. I hope this is alright with you.

    Best,

    Katerina

  3. As much as I love Camilla Plum, I would eat anything she put in front of me, absolutely anything at all, as I certainly wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her!!

    Emma : )

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