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What NOT to do with Fussy Eaters

Summary. If you have a fussy eater at home, then this list is for you. Learn how to reduce your frustration and enjoy more meal times in 2 minutes by avoiding the most common mistakes parents make with children at feeding time.

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We all want our little ones to get the right foods and nutritions they require to grow strong and healthy. However, with a fussy eater, often this is easier said than done. It takes effort, sweat and tears, and often trickery to get them to eat what you put on their plate. However, this is not necessarily the right approach, and more often than desired, it back fires into an intolerable situation for both you and your child. There are number of tips you have to be aware of if you have a fussy little one in your dinner table. The are things you can do and few things you absolutely should NOT do. We have come across these through both experience and studies, and we summarised them below for you:

  1. Lose your temper as this will make the experience of new food daunting for your child and will not be any productive to you or them.
  2. Force feeding your child. Again, this will just make them resent mealtime.
  3. Sneak new foods inside their safe food. I myself fell into this trap few times; I thought I was doing my child a favour so they can get the nutrition and vitamins they need. Boy was I wrong. No matter how small you can cut or mush new foods inside their accepted food, there will come a day and they will realise what you did, and this can lead to your child rejecting their accepted safe food as they see it as no longer safe, and they no longer trust what you might have put in it. Children are smart that way, so don’t under-estimate their sensitivity to food! 
  4. Giving only the new food to your child when they are hungry, hence forcing them into eating it to fill in the hunger. This is another no no! reducing your child’s options will just mean they will resent the mealtime and the new food even more, and will possibly stay hungry, and become a more aggressive fussy eater.
  5. Do not negotiate with young children, toddlers do not always understand the concept of negotiation, so do not tell them they will get their favourite or safe food if they eat the new food.

If you have done any of the above, don’t worry, we have all been there. In fact, yours truly has done all of them! But we live and learn and pass on the advice to other parents. Most important, do not panic or feel guilty, and be assured that your child is not a fussy eater because of something you did, nor are they doing it to push your buttons, thought it might most of the time. Just learn as much as you can about your child’s behaviour and understand how you can help them best. Remember: Everybody is different, and you and your child will know what works for your family. 

We are also here for you. We have an article that can help you identify if your child is experiencing sensory difficulty, where being over or under sensitive can lead to having hard time with food – in which case you can try the 9 steps program. Most of the knowledge in this program is collected from a workshop that is conducted by the UK National Health Service (NHS), so if you reside in the UK, we highly recommend you reach out to local health services for advice.

If you you found this article on fussy eaters useful, why not read more resources in the Parenting Category.

Disclaimer: The content of all our articles is protected by the Terms & Conditions policy. For license of content, please reach out to us directly, our information are on the contact us page.

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