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Fussy Eaters

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Fussy Eaters!

Getting used to meal times, new foods, strange textures and flavours can be hard for a child. It’s natural to worry that something might be wrong when a child loses interest in food. However, this is a common stage for many children between 2-3 years of age.

Most children grow out of it and begin to accept a wider range of food over time, but sometimes there might be another problem behind a sudden loss of appetite.

The most common reasons for fussy eating are:

Children benefit from routine and sometimes fear new people or experiences, including new foods. New tastes, textures and smells can make a child less likely to try unfamiliar food.

From around the end of the first year, a child’s growth rate slows down, and as a result they may want to eat less.

Children experience a growing sense of independence, and refusing food is often a way of a child asserting him or herself.

Supporting young children to overcome fussy eating

  • Be patient: On average children need to be offered individual foods up to 10 times before they choose to eat it.
  • Be a good role model: Children learn to eat foods they are unfamiliar with by watching and copying other adults and children eating.
  • Give small portions: Large portions can be too much for children.
  • Eat together: Meal times are an opportunity to develop table manners, social skills and create a sense of belonging.
  • Encourage routines: Children benefit from routines and knowing when to expect food; they are less likely to eat when over-hungry or tired.
  • Praise: Children respond positively to praise. Do so when they try new foods or when they behave well during mealtimes.
  • Involve children in simple cooking and food preparation: By handling and touching new foods without pressure to eat them, children will become familiar with new foods and be more likely to try them.

 

Getting used to meal times, new foods, strange textures and flavours can be hard for a child. It’s natural to worry that something might be wrong when a child loses interest in food. However, this is a common stage for many children between 2-3 years of age.

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