Fussy Eating Toddler Tips

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So you are currently at the phase of your toddler is a fussy eater? Please read below for a few of our key fussy eating toddler tips to help you increase your success rate.

 

Fussy eating is relatively common, around half of the young children will go through a fussy stage at some point, typically starting at around 18 months and peaking at 3 years of age. For parents/carers, it can be quite a stressful time, worrying about whether your child is getting enough nutrients, not to mention all the food that is getting wasted! However, there is help at hand and it is important to remember that unless your child is not gaining weight or is losing weight, they are likely to be getting enough energy for growth. Poor dietary variety can in some cases lead to low micronutrient intakes, particularly iron and zinc which are found in some meats and vegetables. Low intakes of dietary fibre, as a result of low intakes of fruit and vegetables, can also lead to constipation in fussy eaters.

 

Eat together – try to make meals on social occasions.  Eat at the table and offer the same foods to your child like you, and the rest of your family, are eating. Watching you, or other members of the family eat certain foods may encourage them to give them a go. It can be logistically difficult to eat together as a family when one or both parents/carers are not back from work until late but try to do it when you can (e.g. weekends or with one parent/carer present).

 

Give them attention when they try the food – not when they are refusing food. When they are flinging food from their tray or not wanting to try a food take a deep breath and try to ride it out without comment. Relax and don’t get stressed about it, mealtimes are supposed to be enjoyable!

 

Remove any distractions – young children can only focus on one thing at a time so try to remove any distractions during mealtimes such as television or toys.

 

Repeat offerings – if your child refuses a particular food, don’t avoid giving it to them again. It can take 10-15 times of being offered food for a child to taste it and/or like it. Keep trying!

For a personalised action plan developed by our Registered Nutritionist or to join one of our fussy eating workshops – get in touch!

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