08/05/2009 14:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Cure For Fussy Eaters? Peas, Friends And Cocktail Sticks

You won't believe what I just invented.

It's called a peabab.

What you need to do is: Get a cocktail stick, then skewer as many peas as you can on to it. You end up with something that resembles a mini kebab made of peas.

And that's the peabab. I told you it was fabulous.

If you are a small child (not too small though – cocktail sticks are a bit pointy for some), you then consume said peabab, and get started on making another one. You may briefly wonder why your mother is doing her Happy Dance, but you carry on and soon have consumed more peas in one sitting than you did in the last year.

It's ridiculous some of the things we do to get children to eat more healthily.

Read on for my hard earned tips on how to cure fussy eaters.

Having extensively researched the subject of fussy eaters over the last 9 years of parenthood, I've found that these are some of the most effective ways to get your little darlings to eat more veg:

  • Invite a pal round for tea. If you happen to be the proud parent of The Boy Who Likes Carrots, rest assured that your child will never be short of a dinner date.
  • Focus on the things that they do eat, and make them the most nutritious versions you can find. Anybody want a loaf baked, I do the healthiest bread in the UK?
  • Bribe them with stickers. Why are children so addicted to stickers? They're the currency of childhood. It's a mystery, but it works.
  • Astonish them with a peabab. You know it makes sense.

Above all, do not plead or negotiate with your fussy eater. If my son refuses his tea, I simply shrug and say "OK, more for me then" and take the plate away. More often than not, he snatches it back and starts eating. Much easier all round than the days when I used to beg him to eat four peas ('cos you're four, how about a pea for each year?) and we would get locked into a protracted negotiation that lasted until the food went cold.

What are your tips for getting fussy kids to eat their greens?