Terri Munro, from Essex, has trouble getting her 22-month-old toddler to eat, so she decided to trick him into thinking he was having a takeaway “like a big boy”.
Munro wrote on The Motherload Facebook group: “He thinks he’s got a takeaway (pizza boxes bought on eBay).
“It was such a success, I may have to put his milk in a coke bottle now!”
Munroe said she came up with the idea because her son George had seen his auntie eating “pizza in a box” and got excited.
She thought a healthier and cheaper option that would please him would be for her to make a pizza and stick it in a box.
“We plan on using carrot sticks in the fries box, making healthier food fun to eat,” she said. “At the end of the day, getting George to eat sometimes is hard work, so anything we can try that makes that process easier is worth a try.”
Parents commenting on the Facebook photo loved the idea. One mum wrote: “Fantastic, I’m stealing this idea for my two,” and another wrote: “You deserve a gold star, can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before.”
Alison McGarragh-Murphy, editor of The Motherload told HuffPost UK: “One of the toughest times in the day of a parent is mealtimes - it can be such a nightmare getting your child to eat anything.
“The photo went crazy in the group with well over 1k likes and loads of comments from mums of fussy eaters who wanted to try it out too.”
If your child is a fussy eater, NICE guidance issued in September 2017 advised parents to encourage children to play with their food. Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said at the time: “Having a child with faltering growth can be distressing for parents and carers.
“However, simple things such as encouraging relaxed and enjoyable feeding and mealtimes, eating together as a family or even allowing young children to be ‘messy’ with their food can help encourage them to eat.”
Instead of worrying about manners, the guidelines urged parents to relax and stop cajoling children into eating nicely, as this could be preventing them from doing so at all.