Ideas to help with fussy eaters
Feeding a baby or toddler can be more than a bit frustrating at times!
Not only do you have to try to teach your child the process of eating, which can be a very messy experience, but you also end up wasting a lot of food that you may have spent a long time lovingly preparing.
It's important to remember that it's all a learning process for your child though, and that their taste buds are actually changing all of the time.
It can be testing when the food they ate a bucket load of last week and you made sure you stocked up on, will not be touched again for months. Fear not though, this is pretty normal behaviour for a toddler!
On days like this, it's natural for parents to worry that their child isn't getting enough of the right foods - especially if they refuse to eat anything at all. The trick is not to worry about food intake over just a day however, but more to think about what they eat over the course of a week.
Our tip is to make sure your child eats some food from the four main food groups listed below - even if it seems like they are always eating the same ones - over time they will chop and change the foods that they like:
- Milk and dairy products
- Starchy foods
- Fruit and vegetables
A good feeding routine will help your little one to understand the process and expectation, so it's good to embed this from the start and try to stick to it. For example, speak to your child about what is happening e.g. "let's pop you into your high chair, next we put your bib on, and now we are ready to eat".
Top 5 tips for fussy eaters:
- 1.Try to eat together as a family, or if the mealtimes don't suit, at least sit with your child for a few meals a day e.g. breakfast. Where possible offer your little one the same food as you are eating, so they are included.
- 2.Don't dish up massive portions for your child - sometimes this can be too intimidating for a fussy eater. Praise them for even little bits they try.
- 3.Try to stay calm if they reject foods. Simply take it away without comment and don't withhold alternatives if they ask for them.
- 4.Pre-empt feeding times so that they are not overtired or too hungry to eat.
- 5.Try to make mealtimes fun - use cookie cutters to make the shapes of sandwiches more interesting, lay food out like a funny face, or play or sing eating games or songs that they like to keep their interest.
We hope some of our tips and tricks help you and your fussy eaters!