Top Tips for Parenting ‘Fussy Eaters’

Consistency! By having a consistent routine at mealtimes your child will know when to expect food and encourages good eating habits.

No distractions! It’s best to avoid distractions such as toys, games and television during meal and snack times. Make sure that the eating environment is relaxed and calm.

Variety! Continually offer a good variety of healthy foods and allow your child to choose what they eat. A full plate of food can be overwhelming, so start with a small amount at first.

Get them involved! Children love to help with food preparation tasks such as pouring, stirring and spreading. Children who are involved in preparing food are more likely to try it. Try growing vegetables and fruit as it is a fun way to help children learn where food comes from.

Don’t give up! It can take up to 10 times of seeing an unfamiliar food before a child feels comfortable enough to try it. Continue to offer new foods and consider different ways of presenting them. Encourage good eating behaviours by praising them when they have eaten well.

No bribes! Try not to use foods as bribes, for example, ‘No pudding unless you eat your vegetables’. This makes the pudding more desirable than the vegetables.