How to Solve the Fussy Eating Problem

Parenting brings about many challenges, and they vary depending on which age group your little one is falling into at the time, however there is perhaps no challenge greater than trying to get around the issue of a fussy eater.

Not every child has this problem, but a large proportion do; think back to your own childhood, were you difficult with what you ate? I certainly was, and to this day I probably still am to some degree! Trying to find ways to get around the problem, and encourage your child to open up their mind to different foods and textures is the best way forward to a calmer future in terms of nutrition.

So, how can you solve that famous fussy eating problem?

Well, it’s mainly about perseverance and patience, but there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process.

Make food look exciting

When you’re serving a meal, try to make it look fun, colourful, and exciting. This is easier than it sounds, as you only have to rearrange food into a smiley face, or use colourful salad items in order to jazz up a meal. A child is more likely to eat something that is fun and attractive, than something that looks bland and boring. Children don’t respond well to bland and boring!

Use fun cutlery and plates

You’ll find many different items on the market that help you with this, such as knives and forks in the shape of a crocodile, or plates with sections in them to help stop food running into other food types, so play around with different options and see which one your child responds to best.

Slowly, slowly

Once you find your child enjoys a particular type of food, slowly try and introduce another food which is similar, and see how that goes down. Children are more likely to try different foods if they have a link to ones they already like, because it’s not totally alien to them, and it’s not the unknown.

Try and make sure they’re hungry before mealtime

You know this yourself, you’re more likely to eat anything when you’re hungry, so try and cut down on snacks as it is coming up to dinner time, to make sure your little ones are hungry before you serve them their main meal. This means they’re more likely to clear their plates and get the nutrition they need from proper food sources, rather than snack items.

Gentle encouragement

It’s no good being forceful, as this will simply evoke a total shut down response from your children, so instead look towards gentle encouragement. Try the food yourself in front of your child, tell them how delicious it is, and how it tastes like another food they enjoy.

Breakfast is important

To stop snacking, and therefore make sure your child eats a proper meal, remember the importance of a healthy breakfast.

At some point, most children go through a fussy eating stage, however if you are truly concerned after trying a few different routes, you can always seek healthcare advice for reassurance.

Photo Credit: The Sweet Potato Incident 013 via photopin (license)

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