I came across an article in the US press yesterday, about a session held at the University of South Utah for parents of picky eaters. One of the suggestions on offer was to present food in a "fun" way, for example by using a special cutter to cut sandwiches into the shape of a puzzle piece or making a banana 'person'. This isn't the first time I've heard of this strategy - it's something I expect many parents do in an attempt to entice a picky eater to eat.
The EAF way...
With EAF, there is no place for smiling pizzas, banana men (or women) or kiwi-topped palm trees. That's because EAF is about changing a child's notion that eating is something you want him to do.
If your child's motivation to eat comes from you rather his own bodily signals, he can make decisions about whether to eat or not in order to get a particular reaction from you. He can use food as an emotional lever. Even though this might sound counter-intuitive, if you give your child any sort of attention for their picky eating, whether positive or negative, this will make it worse. Plating up 'fun' food is a form of attention, giving the message "I really want you to eat this".
Perhaps you do really want your child to eat what's in front of him - you might be genuinely concerned about his diet. But here's the paradoxical truth of the matter,
if you stay relaxed and let your child leave whatever they don't want to eat, he is more likely to develop good eating habits because there is no scope for a power struggle.
You can find the USU article mentioned here: http://bit.ly/1aFYVPi
Please note: to avoid gender stereotyping I alternate whether I refer to children as boys or girls, with each post.