COMMON FUSSY EATING CONCERNS
The Good for Kids team regularly hear from Services and parents about their fussy eating concerns. These are some of the most common, and our best advice:
Children are actually very good at judging how much food they need. Often if they don’t eat much for a day or two, they generally make it up for it in the next few days. As long as you are providing healthy options and they are growing normally, it’s most likely they are getting enough. REMEMBER: kids will often eat food at care that they won’t eat at home!
Always trying to get your child to eat new foods can be challenging, however it’s important to remember that most fussy eaters grow into older children who enjoy a wide variety of foods. Try offering the food in a different way e.g. grated carrot instead of carrot sticks, or have a break from offering the food and come back to it another time.
Try to never give up on a food altogether.
- Use a calm voice.
- Try to ignore the complaints about the food until your child stops. Avoid arguing, insisting they eat it, or discussing it too much while they’re upset.
- Try distracting your child - for example, changing the subject and take the focus off the food.
- Try to avoid giving in and giving your child what they want.
Try this helpful strategy: You decide what food is offered and your child decides how much they want to eat.
Instead of “what do you want for morning tea?” Try “What would you prefer for morning tea, pikelets or rice wheels?” This is a great example of you deciding what food is on offer, while still providing your child with some control over what they eat.