Often, fussiness comes from eating the same meal often. Children see this meal as a comforting experience, and they seek to repeat the experience as often as possible. If however, you step in early by presenting the same meal in different ways, you will teach them that diversity in food can be comforting as well as fun. Therefore, avoiding fussy eating.
In this article I am using the example of Peanut Paste.
My toddler's favourite meal is Peanut Paste on toast. He makes it very clear that every meal and snack should be accompanied by a side of Peanut Paste on toast. This is how I know which flavour I need to focus on at the moment with him.
To encourage his love of the flavour, and discourage fussy eating, I am giving a variety of ways to eat Peanut Paste.
The flavour on a spoon, in its simplest form. A toddler will happily lick a spoon of their favourite food. Here, they are learning that flavour doesn't have to be accompanied by anything else. Eating Peanut Paste on its own has an entirely different texture to having it on toast. This teaches children that different textures are okay, and can be delicious.
The flavour spread on bread, and cut out with cookie cutters. This teaches them that different, unexpected shapes can be accepted and tasty.
The flavour spread on bread and served on a kebab stick. This one gets children thinking outside of their normal way of eating. They have to try different ways of approaching the food. Teaching them that different techniques in eating can be just as good as their regular way.
Trying different breads opens their acceptance of tastes, textures and shapes that their favourite flavour can be enjoyed within. Try pita, wraps, rye, homemade etc. Try serving it in a variety of shapes on the plate. Squares, triangles, rectangles are all easy to cut out and arrange on the plate.
Offering up their favourite flavour in baking and cooking extends things even further. Peanut Paste cookies, Satay chicken - the ideas are endless. Look through your recipes and think of how you can inject your child's favourite flavours into some family meals.