You've Got A Fussy Eater

here's what you need to do!

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Your child is fussy with food.

Does this sound familiar?

The only way you can get your child to eat is to distract them with your phone while you spoon food into their mouths.

Or bring their favourite toy to the dinner table letting them feed ‘Mr Dinosaur’ while you try to coax them.

Dessert works as a great bargaining tool, you know that they’ll eat a little more if you remind them that there’s something yummy coming up if they do a great job.

And when it comes to family mealtimes, it’s obvious that they really don’t want to be there, you might be forever reminding them to sit still, eat a bit more chicken, stop throwing food, and to be quite honest you’re pulling your hair out with frustration.

You tend to cook the same meals on repeat because you know what your child likes, but that’s a far cry from what you want for dinner so you eat with your partner after your child goes to bed.

And I imagine that in the evening you’re probably sitting on the sofa googling for answers but nearly all the advice suggests hidden veg pasta sauce or teddy bear-shaped cottage pie?

you know that

none of this works

Wouldn’t it be a dream for your child to come to the table happily, sit down nicely and munch away, you probably wouldn’t mind if they didn’t clean their plate, just so long as there was less drama at mealtimes and they didn’t refuse it outright.

Helping a fussy eater to like new foods isn’t easy and does need specialist help (which is why none of those food tips on google actually work).

I’ve got strategies that I use with families that REALLY work…and none of them actually involve the food!

My Top 3 Tips:

1. Try and eat with your child, sharing the same meal as often as you can because watching you eat (you are the favourite teacher!) is how children learn to overcome their fussy eating. Eating with other children  is really helpful too. Sit directly opposite your child so you are in their line of sight and exaggerate eating tricky foods like corn on the cob or chewy meat.

 

2. Give positive praise when they do something you like such as using their cutlery or sitting nicely at the table. Try not to praise their eating performance though as even saying something nice can feel like pressure and pressure can reinforce not-eating at mealtimes. And please, pease, please do not reward eating with star charts, stickers or a yummy pudding. All your doing here is reinforcing that the food is a horrid task they have to endure to get the reward!

 

3. Talk about the food at mealtimes (and at any other time of the day) but talk about it in terms of its sensory properties like “What colour are your peas?” or “does your sausage feel warm or cold/hard or soft/bumpy or smooth” and  “what does that smell like?” etc. Tap into your child’s imagination too, if they love Paw Patrol can they sniff it like Chase or lap it like Skye.

If you would like to learn how to work with me at The Children’s Nutritionist to help navigate this tricky fussy eating phase you can DM me on Instagram with the word SUPPORT and I’ll send you a personal reply.

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