We talk with parents all the time about how to handle fussy eaters, and our team have put together our top tips to help get your child excited about trying new foods.
Children learn to like what becomes familiar to them, therefore continuing to offer the rejected foods is key to success. Completely stopping these foods will only reinforce to the child that they don’t like the food.
2. Create a mealtime structure
Having a routine around eating times can be very useful, as it allows the child to know what to expect and when.
3. Be a positive role model
Children learn by example. If you tend to be picky around food or don’t eat together, then your child will not see that it is normal to eat a varied diet. Try to use positive language around food. Even if you dislike certain foods, try not to project these views around mealtime.
4. Offer food in different forms
Preparing food in different formats can affect the flavour and texture. Just because your child doesn’t like cooked carrots, that doesn’t mean they will not enjoy them raw. Experiment with cooking methods to add variety and interest.
5. Two snacks max
If a child is able to graze throughout the day, they are unlikely to want to eat their dinner. Snacking between meals can also be less nutritious. For this reason; we recommend ‘two snack max’ – one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. This is also a good opportunity to encourage new things.
6. Think drinks
Many children like to drink sugary drinks throughout the day, which can leave them feeling quite full – meaning there will be less room for food. Limiting the amount of drink (other than water) should encourage their appetite and teach them that if they are hungry, they need to eat.