Tips to deal with fussy eaters

Tips to deal with fussy eaters

Encourage your kids to eat well:

  • Set a good example yourself.
  • Explain why it’s important to eat healthily.
  • Call healthy foods ‘brain food’ or ‘superman’s food’ to encourage a positive attitude.
  • Be supportive and encouraging when they try something new, no matter how small the portion.
  • Always start with a healthy breakfast such as wholemeal toast, porridge or low-sugar cereals.
  • Stock the cupboard with healthy food.
  • Disguise food they don’t like such as chopping vegetables very small and mixing in a sauce.
  • Make healthy eating a game – count how many peas they’ve eaten, making shapes with their food etc.
  • Allow occasional treats.  


fussy eating

I think fussy eating is partly genetic. My son is very fussy and will only eat fish fingers, breakfast cereals, toast and nugget type food - eg. chicken nuggets - and some fruit but no veg.

When he was a baby I was very conscientious and home cooked everything from scratch, he didn't have a single jar of baby food, all healthy stuff.

When he was about 20 months old he just started refusing his food and would only eat breakfast cereals and has been fussy ever since.

When people find out how fussy he is, I think there is a general assumption that it's my fault - that I must have been feeding him on junk, crisps, chocolate etc or giving him too many treats between meals - but this is not the case. He just simply has a very small appetite and won't even try new things despite bribing.

He only started eating the packaged fish fingers because I was so desperate for him to eat something different. I don't even like those fish fingers.

So - yes I think that people whose children are good eaters are bound to assume that it's their amazing cooking and parenting skills that have made them like that and to assume that those who have fussy children must have done something wrong but I don't agree. I think it is partly luck and I think most parents try their best with the feeding which isn't always easy especially if you have to go to work to earn money to pay for all this healthy food and have little time to cook.

When I was a child I was also very fussy apparently and only ate 4 things until I was about 7 years old. I now eat absolutely everything and I am perfectly healthy.

So don't worry everyone who has a fussy eater - it's just a phase, it won't harm them at all long term and they will grow out of it and start eating normally eventually.

My daughter won't eat!!!

My 2 1/2 yr old wont eat much, wont have any breakfast only wants fruit and vegetables if at all. Prob only eats about seven mouthfulls of food a day. Loves fruit shoot drinks or squash? Has meat occationally? has milk only in milkshake one beaker a day if she feels like it? She is under weight for her age? hope she will improve her eatin habits soon?

lunch !

my daughters 14 months old and eats breakfast and tea but 5out of 7 days she refuses to eat lunch i tried eveything ive tried different food letting her feed her self making her laugh and putting food in while her mouth is open sounding a airoplane a train everything any more ideas please x

i think where most people go

i think where most people go wrong is they get to the child being 2 - 3 , they have been feeding their children on jars (which are pretty bland), crisps, chips, sweets etc and then wonder why the child becomes a fussy eater - usually favouring junk over wholesome nutritous foods. You're child can only like to eat what it has already been given. My son is 16 months old, he's never eaten a jar of baby food in his life. Since weanin i cooked all his food from scratch with real, fresh, good quality ingredients. When first weaning i used to simply buy a steak, a pork fillet, a chicken breast, a lamb fillet and a salmon fillet - along with a variety of fresh or frozen veg (frozen veg is often higher in nutrients that fresh but not all vegetabes are readily available in frozen such as butternut squash, sweet potato, avocado, aubergine etc), and i would slow cook the meat, cook up all the veggies - once all cooked i would put together meals, blend and put into baby food storage pots and freeze. This would easily make up 4 - 6 weeks worth of meals for him when he was first weaning. so i would spend one day cooking every 4 - 6 weeks, my son would be getting full flavoured wholesome meals without any preservatives or added nasties and i knew what was in every mouthful. As he got bigger obviously portion sizes got bigger and id have to start cooking up joints of meat instead of fillets, and i simply adjusted the consistency - mashing instead of blending, then cutting up instead of mashing etc. my son LOVES real food. He will try literally anything you give him. He never eats processed foods. the only "from a packet" food he eats is his organic toddler breakfast (i like Plum or organix) and i use these because theye are fortified with extra nutrients that toddlers need. for snacks he has cubes of cheese, toast (organic brown bread), and fruit or Veg. his absolite favourite treat at the moment is a bowl of pomegranate (obviously i have to prepare for him - he cant pick the seeds out himself yet!). His face literally lights up if you give him a snack bowl of fresh sweetcorn or peas! People around us this we're too strict, but he doesnt think he's missing out. He genuinly enjoys the food he gets. He eats wholesome - very tasty - meals every meal time. We have tried giving him things like organix branded baby/toddler biscuits as treats but he refuses them, you offer him a few garden peas and he'll snatch your hand off! Family members have admitted to trying to give him chocolate behind out back, and admitted that he spat it straight back out....once even crying because my mum tried to put it back in his mouth!

Now, im not "lucky" to have a son who enjoys healthy food... its taught. I have never given him anything else and he has chosen his own favourites from the foods i've given him. If people made more of an effort right from the start of weaning...they'd have no problems once their kids become toddlers. I'm not saying my son likes everything ive ever tried him with...and he's tried literally every fruit or vegetable that my local tesco sell! but the only things he really refuses is pasta and carrots.

after reading in great detail what is actually in most baby jars/packets and kids convenience foods - i couldnt actually bring myself to put it in my sons body.

these first few years are soo important to the childs physical and mental development. Your chils little liver and kidneys have to process any junk you put in the body. The little arteries becoming clogged with fat (i dont give my son a low fat diet by the way! he just had what i like to call 'natural' fats ie they occur naturally in the raw ingredient such as pork is naturally fatty whereas crisps are full of trans-fats and hydrogenated fats, since when did potatoes contain actual fat? they dont - bt crisps do!) if parents hinder the development of, or even harm, their childrens organs by pumping them full of junk - how can they have a clear concience?

I believe that if id fed my son convenience foods,crisps, chocolate etc, and he ended up obese at 5, or had diabetes or kidney problems etc when he's an adult, how could i in all honesty say that i never contributed to that by feeding him junk when his little organs were first developing?

not only that, even if by some miracle you're not harming your child by feeding them junk while their little bodies are developing - you are teaching them, engraining into their behaviours for life, that junk food is ok. meaning theres a much higher chance they will harm themselves with junk food in later life.

to me everything my child is exposed to now, could potentially have life long effects on him and as such i go to great measures to research whats best for him in every aspect of his upbringing. of course theres a chance when he's older, in secondry school etc and i have no control over what he eats, he may very well decide to eat junk food then.. but at least i'll have done everything i can to educate him otherwise and hopefully helped his body develop to its best potential up to that point.

my 3 year old has spaghetti,

my 3 year old has spaghetti, mickey mouse chicken nuggets, pizza or my homemade spag bol and thats all! he wont try anything else. He does eat fruit and yoghurts and has a bowl of cereal on a morning but thats all he eats meal wise so he literally has the same thing every other day. His weight is spot on but I know hes got a lot skinnier so think the yoghurts and sweets are keeping his weight up. Ive tried starving him (as in cutting all treats out and limiting drink) and this doesnt work, he just says ok and goes and pkays so was then concerned he would drop weight after a day or 2 of doingt his. Health visitiors keep saying its a stage and hell grow out of it and if hes hungry hell eat. Sooooo frustrating xx

My 11 month won't eat

I am having difficulty in feeding my 11 month old the six month weaning stage was easy he wanted to try everything, but now that his top teeth have come he just doesn't seem to be interested. I have given him all the tastes that he likes, but he'll have one or two spoons, with fruit and vegetables he'll start to eat then have a tantrum and throw everything on the floor. He is an active baby so am worried that he is not eating healthy.

josie hogarth

any ideas for meals at dinner time for my 9 and half month old boy, who borks when to lumpy and makes himself sick!. do i stick to lumpy jars until a little older then start making fishfingers n things (mashed obviosly?)

i have a very fussy eater, my

i have a very fussy eater, my 2 year old will only eat bland food, he wont touch anything with a sauce of butter, he eats pleny of fruit he loves blueberries but apart from that he'll only eat things like dry toast tortillas chips crisps chicken and occasionally sausages, this is drivinng me insane as his 14 month old brother eats whatever we eat but i dont know how to break the cycle or get him to put other foods in his mouth

my 2year old has difficulty

my 2year old has difficulty chewing and he also prefers to just have his formula milk, i must make at least 2meals for him every mealtime everyday to try and get something down him, but he just chokes then gets frustrated and throws his dinner onto the floor. ive even tryed going back to baby food so i know that he is getting nutrion :-(

fussy eater

my 2 year old will only eat finger food, mostly junk, some days he will eat pleanty but most days nothing he constantly enjoys his drinks (drinks so much, like i once was) we give him healthy, varied meals but he refuses to eat anything with a spoon unless its cereal or yogourt, he eats chips, crisps, cucumber, bread and choclate fine but its so hard to get him to eat a tidy meal. all the food we give him we know he likes but just refuses to eat it, any ideas why?

my son is nearly 3 and i

my son is nearly 3 and i cannot get him to eat anything other than bread, yougurts, apples or sweets/crisps. we always set him a plate with food we are eating, but always end up giving in and getting him buttered bread. if we dont he wont eat at all. any help?

fussy 2 year old

my 2 year old daughter has such a tiny appetite that she still relies on formula to put on the weight. i have tried everything to get her to eat more but she just pushes the plate to one side. we involve her at the dinner table and give her a varied diet but she will still only eat tiny mouthfuls. any help or advice would be welcome.