Guardian Childcare & Education

5 Tips to Tackle Fussy Eating

3rd June 2020

Face made out of cracker and veggies

Many parents react to their child’s fussy eating behaviour with panic, and will often deal with this dilemma in one of two ways: they either accept that their child is a fussy eater and plan meals around them; or demand that they sit at the table until they finish every last bite of their meal. These two strategies are not ideal, as they can lead to a child forming unhealthy eating habits and a long-lasting negative relationship with food.

But, dinnertime doesn’t have to end in tears – there are positive ways to help your child expand their palate and enjoy their meals.

Accredited practising dietitian Vanessa Schuldt and Guardian Childcare & Education Rouse Hill North Chef, Kate Stephens have teamed up to provide five helpful tips for dealing with your fussy eater.

Repeat Exposure

“If your child isn’t eating a particular food, instead of forcing them to eat it or avoiding using it altogether, just repeatedly offer it without pressuring them to eat it,” advises Vanessa. You can also try engaging all your child’s senses to get them interested in new ingredients. “When initially introducing your child to a food, invite them to touch and hold the food themselves, as many children often avoid foods they are unfamiliar with. Encourage your child to explore through smell, taste and touch,” suggests Kate. In most cases, after a proper introduction and then repeat exposure, your child will eventually begin to accept the food.

Start Small

Small amounts of a new food can be less overwhelming for your child. Likewise, serving it alongside foods they enjoy may be helpful. For example, if you know that your child loves pasta, provide them with a bowl of pasta and veggies. This positive association can help your child’s acceptance of the vegetables.

Set a Good Example

Enjoying a range of healthy foods yourself can encourage your child to copy, as they look to you for guidance. It’s important to promote the joy of food and encourage conversations around the table while eating. If you make mealtimes relaxed and enjoyable while showing your child that you are happily eating the nutritious food provided, they will be more likely join in and look forward to meals. 

Get Your Child Involved in the Process

“This can even start with you and your child growing a veggie patch together. Once the plants are ready, your child will be excited to taste what they have grown. Cherry tomatoes, snow peas and strawberries are a good start,” says Kate. No room for a veggie patch? Hit the kitchen. Children who are actively involved in preparing food are more likely to try that food. Organise an experimental cooking experience, where your child can be inventive in the kitchen with ingredients you provide. Get them stirring, spreading and pouring!

Mix It Up

Try changing the way that you prepare the food. For instance, your child may not like raw carrots, so instead try cooked carrots – put it in a stir-fry, roast them with honey or add grated carrot to a Bolognese sauce. Just like adults, your child will have certain preferences with their foods, so if you mix things up, you might find a variation that they like!

At the end of the day, remember that your child will eat what they need. “It’s important to understand that most children who are picky will still eat enough food to grow and develop properly,” says Vanessa. “If your child is losing weight or feeling tired and lethargic, parents should consult their GP. If any nutritional deficiencies are identified, an accredited practising dietitian can help to correct the situation. But if this isn’t the case for your child, they are more than likely doing fine and will eat if they are hungry.”

 


Top Recent Articles


Children playing with toys inside and educator Lilyfield

More Days in Childcare can be Better for your Child

indoor resources at your childcare centre

Indoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children interacting with chickens at Guardian Market Street Queens view

Outdoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children playing with music instruments and educator at Lilyfield

Tips for Choosing the Best Childcare for Your Child

Children washing strawberry and carrot at Guardian Blackburn

Tips to get your Child Eating Veggies

Archives


2021

  • February 2021 (3)
  • January 2021 (3)
  • 2020

  • December 2020 (6)
  • November 2020 (11)
  • October 2020 (6)
  • September 2020 (6)
  • July 2020 (12)
  • June 2020 (1)
  • May 2020 (10)
  • April 2020 (22)
  • March 2020 (22)
  • February 2020 (19)
  • January 2020 (19)
  • 2019

  • December 2019 (21)
  • November 2019 (17)
  • October 2019 (26)
  • September 2019 (32)
  • August 2019 (37)
  • July 2019 (26)
  • June 2019 (10)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (6)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (6)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (10)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (14)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (21)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.

    YOUR DETAILS

    *Mandatory Fields

    You May Also Want to Read This

    Children washing strawberry and carrot at Guardian Blackburn

    18th January 2021

    Tips to get your Child Eating Veggies

    mother kissing baby at nursery morning tea

    19th February 2020

    Guardian Caulfield North’s Welcome Morning Tea for New Nursery Families

    Healthy party ideas

    18th May 2017

    7 Pointers for a Healthy Party