Managing fussy eaters

Are you worried that your toddler is refusing to try new foods? At “terrible two’s age”, your once hungry child may now become a fussy eater. Don’t worry, as this is

  • A normal part of development, affecting about a third of all toodlers
  • A way your child asserts her independence and shows her feeling

Did You know: Weaning late makes Fussy eaters

A British study (Coulthard, 2009) showed that children who were introduced to lumpy foods that require chewing between 6 and 9 months of age:

  • Ate a larger repertoire of foods, including fruits and vegetables
  • Were less likely to be fussy with their food than the ‘delayed’ children (those fed lumpy foods after 9 months old)

Some strategies to manage fussy eater:

Don’t:

  • Feel resentful
  • Make a fuss,nag or scream
  • Force feed your child
  • Run after your child with food
  • Feed you child in front of TV
  • Bribe with sweets or chocolates
  • Punish him for not eating a particular food

Instead:

  • Keep calm, don’t react
  • Offer a variety of healthy foods from same food groups for your child to choose from. Eg If he dislikes papaya, he may enjoy apple
  • Offer a healthy snack a little later if he did not eat much at the main meal

Remember

  • Encourage self feeding at the table
  • Offer food in small portion
  • Present food creatively. Eg in interesting colors and shapes
  • Make meal time fun and engaging
  • Praise him when he tries a new food
  • Allow him to stop eating when he is full

Coulthard H,et al. (2009) Delayed introduction of lumy foods to children during the complementary feeding perios affects child’s food acceptance and feeding at 7 years of age. Matern Child Nutr.5(1),75-85

The “5Ts” approach to tacking finicky eating behaviours: