Fussy eaters

Wondering how to get your child to eat? Here are some no-nag ways to outsmart a fussy eater.


Set a good example. Eat healthy foods (and look like you enjoy them). Be careful making comments about foods you dislike, they will pick up on this.


Kids have small stomachs. Small meals with snacks in-between are easier than three big meals a day. Try not to pile food onto their plate.


Children thrive on routine. Keep mealtimes regular and, when you've discovered something they like, serve the same meal a few times a week with some variation.


Children shouldn't be rewarded for eating food they don't like or want. Usually they end up disliking it more.


Don't fill them up on fluid (juice, milk, cordial, even water) just before a meal.


Let kids help in the kitchen. They are more likely to eat something they've helped prepare.


If they don't like something, try swapping it with another option. For example if they hate vegetables, offer them fruit; if they won't drink milk, try yoghurt or cheese; if they don't like chewing meat, serve mince dishes, chicken, fish or baked beans.


Give consideration to other reasons why they might appear fussy such as teething, a sore throat, a blocked nose or an upset tummy.


Be persistent. Keep offering new foods even if they reject them at first. They need to see them several times before they look 'familiar'.


Don't hurry them to finish eating. Let them take their time and experiment with the food on their plate.


Don't lose your cool at dinner! Simply remove uneaten food (perhaps offer it again later) and don't encourage snacks an hour later.