7 Tips on How To Deal With Fussy Eaters

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Children as they grow up can be fussy eaters. Even if you’ve tried doing an airplane to make them say “ahh”, it’s easy to find yourself in a battle. Every parent goes through this stage, and it can be a challenge on how you can deal with this.

8 out of 10 Australian parents have difficulty dealing with their child's eating habits. Here are some practical, easy-to-implement tips to support your fussy eater and transform mealtime into a positive experience for both of you.

Why are children picky eaters?

There are numerous reasons why children are picky eaters. Research shows that it is affected by personality traits, food they eat from the start, parental control, and influences. 

Here are essential tips on how to deal with fussy eaters.

1. Be an example

Children learn and copy from their parents. It’s ideal to set an example when having a meal and show them that you like it too. This way they’ll have an idea what it feels like to eat that food. . Share meals together as often as possible, and show enthusiasm for trying new foods yourself.

2. Know it’s part of development

Recognise that picky eating is often a normal phase of child development. Children are learning to become independent, which they will try to explore other foods. They learn what they like and what they don’t like.

3. Introduce new foods slowly

From when your child was born and over the course of meal times, the food you give takes it time. Introducing new foods slowly but consistently can help. Offer new foods alongside familiar favorites, without pressure. A "no thank you" bite might be a rule to implement—just one bite to see if they like it, but no pressure to finish if they don't.

4. Make meals interactive

Turn mealtime into a fun, interactive activity and let them help you in the kitchen. Whether it's washing vegetables, picking what to cook, adding a few ingredients, stirring batter, or setting the table, this can make them feel included. Involvement can increase their interest in eating what they've helped prepare.

5. Keep it positive

Avoid turning mealtime into something negative. Offer choices within limits, such as "Would you like carrots or peas with dinner?" Trying new foods, even if it's just a taste, can encourage more adventurous eating.

6. Avoid forcing them

Forcing children to clean their plates can lead to overeating and create negative associations with food. Instead, respect their appetites. Establish a routine for meals and snacks, served around the same times every day. If they're not hungry, don't force a meal. Offer a healthy snack later instead.

7. Give them rewards instead of punishment

Withholding it as a punishment can create unhealthy eating habits. Focus on the positive aspects of healthy eating, like how it makes our bodies feel good and gives us energy.

Make meal time an exciting time!

If you're concerned about your child's nutrition or eating habits, don't hesitate to seek advice from a pediatrician or a nutritionist. They can provide guidance tailored to your child's needs.

Remember, the goal isn't just to get through the next meal, but to foster a healthy relationship with food that will last a lifetime. With patience, creativity, and consistency, you can help your fussy eater become more open to trying new foods and enjoying mealtime.

Wonder Years offer healthy meals!

We know that feeding young children can be challenging at times. Our nutrition program encourages each child to become a happy and healthy eater. Wonder Years has a rotating seasonal menu filled with diverse cuisines. We introduce food from different regions of the world to help grow children’s exposure and experience different cultures.

Our in-house cook freshly prepares all meals on-site daily. We provide Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Late Snack. We also can accommodate any specific dietary requirements to ensure every child enjoys a variety of nutritious and tasty foods while in our care.

Want to book a tour? Visit us! Give us a call today at (02) 9484 2595.

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