Managing fussy eating: a step by step guide to taking control of fussy eating


·       It is normal for young children to go throw a ‘fussy’ stage with their eating.

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·        How parents react to this is crucial to manage and resolve fussy eating behaviours long term.

·        Try not to give attention to the food behaviour you would like your child to stop. The more attention we pay to fussy eating, the longer it will continue.

·        If your children starts to reject foods they previously consumed simply ignore them, do not offer other food alternatives and your child will quickly learn that if they do not eat what is served, they will miss out.

·        Avoid them missing out on meals completely by always serving at least one food that they do like.

·        For children aged >3 years, reward charts and non-food rewards can help to encourage children to try new foods.

·        Dad can play a powerful role in taking charge of meal times and encouraging children to eat new foods.

·        Never talk about the foods you want the children to eat, instead only focus on praising positive behaviours.

·        Try not to stress if your child only eats one or two different vegetables or salad, as long as they eat 2 things are fine.

·        Stick to meal times and avoid excessive snacking in the afternoon to help promote hunger at meal times.

·        Involve children with meal decisions and food preparation as much as possible.

·        Try to prepare just one meal for the family as one of the biggest predictors of fussy eating is preparing ‘special’ meals for children.

·        Try very hard not to offer sweet food alternatives to dinner such as yoghurt, toast or milk when children reject their meal. 

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1 Comment

  • Ray Kelly says:

    Love it! Great tips!
    I have 2 young daughters and I get them to choose what goes on their plate. They have to choose 4 items from the fresh food area of the supermarket and 1 protein. As soon as we grab a trolley they knew what my next question will be and they are always ready to go with their choices

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