Tag Archives: Blogging

The Fussy Little One’s

It’s kind of funny, but many times when I mention this blog to people, particularly mothers, they respond with;

“Oh that’s great, i’d love to be able to get my kid to stop being so fussy”.

I realized many people often think ‘The Fussy One’ is designed to help others overcome their “Fussiness” with food.

If you have been a reader of mine for a while you will know that I really don’t have the answers to help children start eating their greens. In fact, if you read my bio you will discover the reason behind my Fussy name is based on the fact that I too was one of the fussy kids these parents want help with! In truth, I find that forcing myself to try new things has been the only way to actually improve my diet. Something that took me 25 years to realize!

Having just got married and with plans to start a family of our own soon, I found myself questioning parents about how they get their children to try new things and eat various items. I mean if I am so fussy, I can only imagine what my children will be like!

Below is a list of some of the suggestions people have given me for their Fussy Little eaters.

Fussy Eater

1. Force them, tell them they won’t get dessert or be able to get up from the table if they don’t eat the item.

Ok, so as a fellow fussy eater, I don’t like this option. At all. I think it’s cruel and starts a bad relationship with food. There definitely should be an element of authority at the dinner table, but asking a child nicely to try something and assuring them they can spit it out if they don’t like it is one thing…but saying they have to eat it all, or punishing them if they don’t only causes anxiety over food and should be avoided in my opinion.

I have a terrible memory from when I was about 7 years old and staying at a friends house over night. The friends mother insisted I eat a ball of pickled red cabbage on my plate. I remember I felt so awkward and upset because it wasn’t my parent telling me I had to, and I’d been taught it was always important to be polite as a guest. The smell of the cabbage made me feel sick so I held my nose and put it in my mouth, the taste was vile and salty and I remember wanting to cry. When the mother turned away I secretly spat it out in my napkin and told her I was full. Have I ever tried cabbage again? Absolutely not. More than 20 years later I can’t bring myself to even smell red cabbage…or anything pickled for that matter. I’m pretty sure it all stems from that one incident. So in conclusion, forcing anyone to eat something they don’t want to is never going to end well.

2. I’ll give you a dollar
This makes me laugh when I hear it, because it comes from my Father-in-law who told me when my husband and his brother were younger he would bribe them with money to taste an item they were unsure of. “I’ll give you a dollar if you just try a piece of this pear”. A part of me (the greedy part) likes this idea, because I probably would have forced myself to try more things if I had been offered money. Most kids over the age of 8 will be happy to gain money i’m sure but I worry bribing with cash opens up a whole other can of worms, like if the child becomes smart enough to pretend it doesn’t want to eat something in order to gain money. It also won’t work for very small children, my nephew (5 years old) couldn’t care less about money right now, but he sure doesn’t want to eat almost any of what he did a few short years ago.

dollar

3. Make the food fun!
This is a good one. I’ve had a few mothers mention it to me which reminds me of my mum who used to make faces out of my food. I must have been very young when she did this, because I barely remember it now…however mash potato spread in a circle made the face, there were peas for hair, and a sausage for a mouth (cannot for the life of me think what the eyes would have been…sliced sausage circles maybe?) I know I went through a phase of not wanting peas, but this got me trying them again and was a great way to get me to eat certain items I usually ignored. The Sausage was sometimes swapped out for fishsticks (fish fingers in UK) and there were bacon and egg type faces I recall at breakfast time. For younger children I believe this is a good method to get them at least tasting items. Also makes the whole idea of ‘food time’ more approachable.

When looking for a photo example online, I came across this ingenious item now available to buy (if they had only had these in my day! haha)

Face plate for food

If you want to buy one for your child, they are easy to find on amazon. (Site link: FACE PLATE)

4. Lead by example
This will be a tough one for me when we have children, but child specalists often recommend eating the “questionable item” in front of a child to show it’s actually good. Making over exaggerated moans of yumminess also helps them become more interested in said item. However, for me, if it comes to certain vegetables I may have to get the husband involved, because even I am too fussy for that! haha

5. Let them help you make the food
Children are more likely to want to eat food they help prepare, according to my friend with 6 year old twins at home (and various other mothers on the toddler forums!) I love this idea. Provided no burns or cut fingers happen, I think it’s a great idea to get a fussy eater (or any child!) involved in the preparation of food. I used to help my mum bake cakes, sifting the flour, stirring the icing and licking the bowl after it’s use! I was a great help as you can tell. 🙂

Cakes are one thing, but preparing a salad or a healthy snack would be just as exciting for a child.  I don’t have children of my own yet, but I do know that children I have baby sat for in the past certainly love getting involved with messy activities! So rolling fresh dough for pizza would be a great introduction to cooking. A vegetable pizza (which can be re-named “Rainbow pizza” so it’s more appealing) can be a great meal option, because it’s healthy, fun to make and can be colorful with the vegetables you choose. Ingredients like squash, tomato, bell peppers, broccoli and cheese (the more color the better-a lot of small children are drawn to bright colors in their food) are a good idea. Test them out, lay out a number of items and see what they are inclined to add on their pizza as a topping…they will be more interested to taste the end result of what they put their effort in to making.

6. What they don’t know, can’t hurt them!
I hate to say it, but it’s true. If I don’t know what something is before I try it, i’m more likely to enjoy it. My husband does it to me all the time with his morning smoothies.

Eg. Me-  “Ooh whats in this one?”

Husband- “The usual things you like…banana, apples, mango, pineapple”

Me- “Oh, it’s great”

Husband- “… kale and Spirulina”

Seriously?! I certainly wouldn’t have tried that on my own accord. However, when mixed with items I enjoy he can mask the “questionable” ingredients. This would work for little ones too, as creamy smoothies are always yummy as a snack.

Blended or ‘Cream of’ Soups are a great option for that too. All sorts of healthy vegetables can be added to a tomato soup or potato soup and the end result is a healthy and nutritious way for a child to get it’s 5 a day in.

Another ‘sneaky’ option is the name you give an item. When my fussy nephew was in the States we went somewhere that served ‘Veggie chips’. I made a point of neglecting to use the word ‘veggie’ and he loved them. I’m sorry to say, sometimes a little deceit goes a long way to trying new things! 🙂

7. Let them be fussy!
This is an odd one to put on a list of how to help a child get over fussiness when eating, but honestly it can end up sorting itself out without the parent having to worry. I was fussy for years, I think I pretty much lived on pasta and cheese for the majority of my childhood,with the occasional apple…but i’m here, i’m alive and now i’m older my taste buds have changed and i’m willing to try just about anything. So most fussy eaters will usually grow out of it.

The other thing to take in to account is a condition many toddlers get- ‘Food neophobia‘. I found this really interesting when researching picky eaters online. Food Neophobia is basically a ‘fear of new food’ that a lot of toddlers start to get around the age of two. Doctors say it usually starts when very young children don’t want the World they know around them to change. Deciding not to try new things means that what they know will stay as it always has been.

Ironically, the same condition is often found in the elderly who often become stubborn about food because they are stuck in their routine and don’t feel a need to disrupt that.

Change is often scary for anyone, so a change in diet for some children really can cause anxiety.

If you have any suggestions of how to help a fussy little eater, please feel free to comment below with your ideas! 🙂

Photo credit for fussy girl image: http://www.news.com.au

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2013 in review

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In the next few weeks The Fussy One will be in it’s 2nd year! Hooray!  To mark another year of drinking, traveling and blogging I thought I would put up my stats for last year. For those who are interested below is The Fussy One 2013 annual report. It makes me so happy to see how many new people visited this site last year, even though I didn’t have a chance to work on it as much as I usually like.

Thank you to all my faithful fussy followers, be sure to keep reading this new year! Click on the link to read the stats put together for me by wordpress 🙂

Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

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Guest Blog

Hello Fussy Followers!

I have a couple of pieces I am working on for the Fussy One (taking a while to get together) and I will be posting soon, have no fear! In the mean time, I wanted to let you know I was asked to do a guest spot on someone else’s blog this week!

I received an email from Aryn, creator of giraffes+garlic+glamour website (great name) when I was sick in bed with flu and it made me so happy to hear from a fellow blogger and reader of my site.  She asked me to do a guest spot on her blog, which honestly is the most flattering thing a fellow blogger can ask, in my opinion. Her site is a really interesting read too, so I think a lot of you would enjoy it.

Please click HERE to see the piece I wrote for her, and see what she has to say about The Fussy One. 🙂

As i’m sure you have noticed, I haven’t been blogging much recently. Life gets in the way of writing sometimes and before you know it another week has gone by and nothing is ready.  I am so grateful for all my readers, and especially appreciative of a number of you who have written me private messages recently telling me how much you enjoy my site. I have fan mail! Yay!

Anyway, keep reading and making cocktails. I promise lots of posts will be coming soon…

The Fussy One xxx

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Drink of the Week and 100th Post!

Gaelic SourGaelic Sour

  • 2oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Orgeat
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Lemon Wheel

It’s that time of year again… ST.PATRICKS DAY! Also known as ‘An excuse to get drunk on Irish Whiskey and beer day!’. Every year I have been in America I have ended up more and more intoxicated on this day, moreso I think than I ever was in the UK.  The Americans (well Californians for sure) love this holiday and celebrate with Irish themed drinks, Green colored beer and clover designs all over the city.

Today FutureGreg and I are dressed in green and heading down to Townhouse in Venice Beach for their Irish themed events.  They have Irish bands playing, an Irish stew, Punch bowls and the above drink on sale all day. If you are in the neighborhood I suggest you join us.

The above recipe is a delicious Whiskey Sour with a subtle twist using the orgeat. It is sweet, flavorful and simply delicious. If ‘Irish Car Bombs’ aren’t your thing this drinking day, this is a great option instead.

On a completely different note, this is my 100th post on The Fussy One!!! Seems only fitting that a blog about alcohol would have it’s 100 post on a national drinking day 🙂

Everyone have a great time today and be safe!

Remember: DO NOT drink and drive!!!!

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Drink of the Week

The Fussy One Cocktail

The Fussy One

  • 2oz Rum Blanco
  • 3/4oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4oz Vanilla syrup
  • 3/4oz Fresh Beet juice

Garnish: Lime wheel

Next week sees some big achievements for me. On Monday 28th January I will have been living in the States for 5 years…then on 30th January I will be celebrating my 1st ‘Bloggerversary’.  Yep, this little blog will be one year old on Wednesday!

The above drink recipe was created lovingly by my Beverage consultant boyfriend Greg Bryson, as a nod to me…and my fussiness! This drink is nothing short of delicious, and perfectly fits my personality.  The use of beet juice gives it an almost healthy taste and vegetive flavors, for some reason the beet reminds me of carrots at times too.  When Greg first met me (read about me) I would never have eaten a vegetable by choice, so incorporating it in a drink with my namesake is pretty smart and somewhat amusing.

This drink has everything I love combined. It has Rum as the base (my favorite), it’s Sweet, Strong, Pink, Fruity and Girly. (Add a dash of crazy and it would be describing my personality!)

In essence this drink could be described as a Vanilla Beet Daiquiri, but I prefer to call it by it’s new name… “The Fussy One” 🙂

Head on down to Greg’s new Venice location of Hostaria Del Piccolo on Wednesday for a drink to celebrate. Greg will be making this recipe as well as loads of his other creations, it’s going to be a fun night.

A big thanks to all my readers, keep following and commenting. I love your suggestions and feedback!

Here’s to many more years of eating, drinking and blogging…

The Fussy One xx

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The Fussy One 2012 Report

The WordPress team (the platform I use to prepare my blog each week) have prepared me a really cool 2012 annual report on my blog! If you’re interested to see how I did last year (stats, countries that viewed me etc) then Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The Fussy One.com had over 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

I am so very pleased with all the achievements I made in 2012. On January 30th TheFussyOne will be 1 year old and bigger than I ever imagined.  I never thought I would get so many opportunities (like Tasting Panel Magazine) purely because of my love of writing and going out to try new places with my boyfriend!

Thank you so much to all my readers for your support, kind letters and overall interest in my little space! I look forward to what 2013 will bring and hope you continue to follow.

Love and well wishes,

The Fussy One xx

TheFussyOne

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Pimms Jelly (Jello!) Sundaes

The following post is not my own creation, however it has certainly sparked some interesting recipe ideas in my boyfriend.

I felt the need to re-blog it because it looks delicious, is a pretty unique dessert style drink and a great option for Summer! 🙂

Just so all my readers understand, in England ‘Jelly’ is what Americans call ‘Jello’, and what Americans refer to as ‘Jelly’ (like in a peanut butter & jelly sandwich) is what the British would call ‘Jam’.

The title of this post is ‘Jelly Sundaes’, however the original writer Hayley is in fact referring to the British sense of the word…I do hope that helps avoid any confusion!

                             British                     American

Jelly          =          Jello

Jam           =          Jelly

 

You will notice a number of British words like ‘a bit’ and ‘dollop’ in this post, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. Living in Los Angeles as a Brit can make me miss the little things sometimes. Check out the blog this post is taken from by clicking here.

Enjoy!

Pimms Jelly Sundaes

 

I realise that the past few recipes I’ve uploaded have been alcohol based. This is not because my diet consists of booze, honest! After making my Mailbu and pineapple jellies, my Pimms infused mind conjured up a creation in my head, and the Pimms Jelly Sundae was born!

These are refreshing, delicious, fat-free summer desserts, perfect for barbecues. They’re so different, and taste as gorgeous as they look. They’re also easy, and take minutes to make, so are great for dinner parties too. Have I said enough?! Okay, one more perk is the fact that it involves Pimms for crying out loud!

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of lemon jelly
  • 3/4 pt of lemonade
  • Pimms
  • 5 large strawberries, or 10 small ones
  • 10 grapes
  • a handful of blueberries
  • 1 orange
  • Mint

Make up your lemon jelly by using 1/4 pt of boiling water, and 3/4 pt of lemonade.

Image

While the jelly is cooling, wash and prepare your fruit, and divide it between individual glasses.

Now it’s time for the main event…All hail Pimms!

Add a one cap and a drop more of Pimms to the fruit…

then add your fizzy jelly.

Now your jelly, Pimms, and fruit need to be acquainted with each other, so use the sprigs of mint to give it a stir, then leave the mint in the jelly for about 30 – 60 seconds.

Now they’re ready for the fridge. If your fridge is rubbish like my mum’s, you’ll need these to set for a good seven or eight hours, if it’s fierce like my one at uni was, five hours should do it.

Ta-Dah! Summer in a glass.

Garnish with mint, and serve.

If you fancy making this a bit naughty, serve with a dollop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

Now that’s more like it.

A  perfect dessert to give to your in-laws/boss/anyone you want to like you, because once they’ve tasted this, they’ll be wanting to see you a lot more!

Feel free to use different fruit, but not kiwi, papaya or fresh pineapple (tinned is fine), as the water molecules in these fruits prevent the jelly from setting, and will result in wasting Pimms.

Summer is finally here, Britain (for now)!

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