Fussy Eating Tips
Fussy eating is common in childhood, as a parent, it is natural worry about if your child is eating well. Battles with fussy eating can cause stress to children, parents and families as mealtimes may be very stressful. There is not one answer to solving fussy eating that will work for every child, however here are some helpful tips from Henry which many parents have found to be helpful.
- Eat together as a family
Watching family and friends eating can encourage children to try food themselves.
- Stick to a routine
It’s important for children to have mealtime and snack routines. Offer 3 main meals a day with 2-3 healthy snacks and try to serve these at the same times everyday.
- Keep the focus off what your child is or isn’t eating
If children feel pressured to eat or try new foods it can make them feel anxious and less willing to eat the food you have prepared. Try to make mealtimes calm and relaxing by talking about other things and not focusing on what they have or haven’t eaten.
- Keep mealtimes screen-fee (no TV, tablets or phones)
Avoid using technology as a distraction to get children to eat, a social environment is much more encouraging.
- Involve children in planning, preparing or serving their own meal.
Children are more likely to try foods if they are involved in creating the meal.
- Avoid using food as a reward
Instead, you could praise positive behaviour by playing a game, reading their favourite book or visiting the park.
- Expose children to a variety of foods
It is important children are exposed to a wide variety of foods. Don’t give up offering if they refuse a food the first time they try it, it can take up to 10 or more tries for a child decides they like some foods. Perserverance is key!
Food refusal is common however it can be stressful for parents, families and children. Please visit the following support pages for more information about fussy eating:
If you are concerned about your child’s fussy eating please seek advice from a health professional such as your GP or Health Visitor.