Fussy eaters

Set a good example. Eat healthy foods (and look like you enjoy them!). Don’t make disparaging comments about foods you dislike.

Kids have small stomachs. Small meals with snacks in-between are easier than three big meals a day. Don’t pile food onto their plate.

Children thrive on routine. Keep mealtimes regular and, even though it’s boring to you, serve them the same meal a few times a week with some variation, once you have hit on something they like.

Don’t use bribes at the dinner table. Children may consume an unappetising food (or medicine) in order to obtain a reward, but that doesn’t make them like it. Usually they end up disliking it intensely.

Don’t fill them up on fluid (juice, milk, cordial, even water) just before a meal.

Kids tend to eat up if they can serve themselves or help. Little ones can set the table, call everyone to the table, wash and tear lettuce leaves or time the cooking with an egg timer.

For every food, there is almost always a substitute. If they hate vegetables, offer them plenty of fruit; if they won’t drink milk, buy yoghurt or cheese; if they dislike chewing meat, try mince dishes, chicken, fish or baked beans.

Don’t ignore problems that interfere with eating, such as teething, sore throat, blocked nose, upset tummy.

Keep offering new foods even if kids reject them at first. They need to see them several times before they look ‘familiar’.

Fussy eaters are often slow eaters who dawdle over their plate. It is pointless trying to hurry them.

Don’t lose your cool at dinner! Simply remove uneaten food (perhaps offer it again later) but don’t let them have snacks an hour later

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