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How to overcome fussy eating

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Is your little one refusing to eat what’s on their plate? Have you tried offering them countless numbers of "healthy" foods to no avail? You are not alone.

Fussy eaters can be very frustrating for parents to work around however the only way to resolve this is…PATIENCE!

As a parent, it is our job to provide and offer food regularly, and it is the child’s job to accept (or not) to eat what is offered. When the time comes they will eventually cave in. Many children (and adults, let's be real), don't like to be told what they can and can't do (or eat) and you're little one is no different. As they become increasingly independent, they like to test boundaries and act on impulse. This includes being at the table and refusing to eat some foods while requesting to eat others. However, YOU have the job of providing the food, they do not. This means you have to stay strong and not resort to giving them exactly what they want to eat all of the time because, well, life doesn't work like that. But you should consider including your meals with at least one thing you know they would eat, such as bread slices with butter, so then you know they will at least eat something and, bread and butter actually aren't so bad for them a few times a week.

Every other component of the meal, however, should include some protein, vegetables and another type of carb. The more you keep exposing them to these types of foods, they will eventually become curious, see you eating and enjoying these foods too, and want to try some. If they spit it out the first time, it doesn't mean they don't like it, it is something new and foreign to them, and may take up to 10 exposures for your munchkin to accept the food for what it is!

Other food behaviours to be aware of are:

  • Don’t force your child to eat. This will override their hunger and fullness cues;

  • Time snacks before main meals;

  • Avoid giving children sweetened drinks and;

  • Avoid bribing using unhealthy drinks and snacks, as this places a bad wrap on fruits and vegetables.

Remember, as a parent your responsibility is to decide what to feed them when to feed them and decide where to feed them. Your child has the responsibility to decide how much they eat and whether they eat. They may be fussy eating for a little while but trust me, it is normal and if you have any questions or concerns, do reach out to me, your maternal and child health nurse or another paediatric dietitian to put your mind at ease!

1 Kommentar

03. Aug. 2023

Good Advice-

I also find talking about food and making a funny story about what different vegetables do for you really helps.

EG- My kids hated eating Carrots!!! So I talked about a time when they found that Kangaroos were bumping into each other in a drought stricken area, everyone was puzzled as to why they were doing this. They eventually discovered that because of the drought, the Kangaroos where malnourished and where losing their eyesight. So many of the farmers donated Carrots, and the Kangaroos ate them, and the carrots improved the kangaroos eyesight. Now how true the story is, I am not sure, but I had no trouble after the story , of my kids an…

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