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Feeding Fussy Eaters

Feeding Fussy Eaters | Mr Vitamins
Many families seem to have one – a small child that refuses to eat what the rest of the family eats at meal times.  And often vegetables are the problem, with many children declining to try or taste anything green on the plate.

Making Fussy Eaters a thing of the past

If you’re currently dealing with a fussy eater in the family, there are a number of techniques that may help change behaviour in a positive and gentle manner to have them munching up their greens in no time at all…
  • Create good habits: children respond well to set, structured meal times.  This means they should occur at regular times each day and last for a consistent length of time. Create boundaries and manage your child’s expectations surrounding the meal time – discuss and outline what is expected of them regarding behaviour and eating
  • Small tummies = small spaces: reduce snacks between meals and limit liquids before and during meal times to save precious tummy space for nutritious food
  • Create a happy environment: set the table with help of your child, use special placemats or plates to help to create a sense of ritual. Share discussions of the day’s events at the table – both good and bad, and allow them to eat at their own pace
  • Lead by example: children follow by example, so ideally parents should sit at the table and share the meal to teach good habits – fussy children often have parents that may not be as open to trying new foods, so it’s important for all the family to enjoy the food prepared
  • Start young: expose young children to as many tastes and textures as possible.  The WHO and Australian guidelines now advises that solids should be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age, or when your child shows readiness.  Recent research seems to suggest that introduction of food from 4 – 6 months is a golden ‘window’ of time that may lead to reduced allergies, but it is best to seek assistance from a practitioner for individual cases, especially with a family history of allergies, asthma or eczema. Baby-led weaning may be an option for your family to help children be exposed to more structured adult foods to reduce likelihood of later fussiness
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from Karen for feeding fussy eaters…

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