I have always been able to count on one hand the foods that she will eat, yep there really isn’t many, and it has been such a stress getting her to eat something new or something that she “didn’t like”. Meal times have been so stressful and most of the time they end up in tears from us both. I never thought that trying to get your child to eat could be so draining, mentally and physically.
As my daughter got older I realized that it was easier just to give her the foods she would eat, it was much better than fighting with her or trying to get her to eat something different. Meal times became enjoyable again and there were no more tears! I was just happy that she was eating something.
So I’ve decided to share with you my top 5 tips to help you deal with a fussy eater.
1. Don’t force them to eat something
It won’t work. Kids are clever, more clever than we think. If they don’t want to eat it, they won’t. If they aren’t going to eat what you have given then that’s okay, it isn’t the end of the world.
2. Don’t stress
If they aren’t eating their dinners then don’t panic, they won’t starve themselves and 9 times out of 10 they’ll end up picking off your dinner (and you let them just so they’ve eaten something).
3. Give them the foods they like, as well as something new on their plate
I do this all the time with her and she never touches the new food, she’ll even tell me that she doesn’t like whatever it is I’ve put there, but at least she’ll be getting used to it.
4. Lots of praise (and maybe a little treat)
When they have eaten something new, or something they didn’t like previously, lots of praise goes a long way! She loves being praised so it works really well for her and she knows that if she at least tries something new that she’ll get a little reward.
5. Let they help to make dinner
I’ve found that she is much more willing to try something when she has helped make it, especially when it comes to desserts (yes she’s fussy about everything, cake won’t touch her lips!).
I honestly believe that they grow out of fussy eating, since starting nursery she has eaten foods she would never have eaten at home, but it is a very slow process. So maybe being at nursery, and seeing the other children eat, is helping her to overcome being a fussy eater. She isn’t behind on anything development wise and her eating habits haven’t affected her weight, so I know she’s thriving even if she does have a limited taste in food!
Have you dealt with a fussy eater? What helps you at meal times?