Fussy eating can be incredibly stressful for everyone involved. It is important to rule out underlying causes so it is good to see professional help, particularly if your child is losing weight or not gaining weight.
A fussy eating consultation will go into lots more detail than I can in a blog but here are 5 things which are helpful to think about:
- Give your child control – control over as many non food related things as possible – eg the shape you cut the carrots, the cup they drink from, where they sit at the table. Lots of fussy eating is about control so if you can give them control of some areas, they may be less fussy with the food.
- Think about your language – avoid terms like treat, avoid saying ‘you can have this if you finish that’, avoid saying cake is yummy but not using that term for vegetables. Avoid labelling them a fussy eater.
- Share mealtimes together without distractions – turn off the TV and your phone and give them attention. Then they don’t need to throw a tantrum about the food to get your attention.
- Get them involved – in cooking, shopping, meal planning, growing food
- Let them try new foods at their pace. Never force feed them. Repeatedly expose them to foods without pressure.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help.