Fussy eating child Fussy eating child

Picky Eaters

What is Fussy Eating?

Fussy eating/picky eating is very common; research shows that up to 60% of children have fussy eating issues. It can take the form of:

  • refusing to eat certain foods
  • a lack of interest in all food
  • eating particularly slowly.1

A fussy eating phase can cause a lot of stress, particularly at mealtimes and if you’re a parent of a fussy eater, it’s natural to be concerned that your child might be missing out on important nutrients.

The good news is that this is usually a phase that most children grow out of and they will eventually start to accept a wider range of foods.2

PaediaSure Shake is here to provide peace of mind that your picky eater is getting the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive, while you work towards healthy, happy mealtimes.

Here are 5 tips for introducing different foods and flavours to your child:

Peas and cucumber on a plate

Small is the way forward

Start with giving your child something small to try, like a single pea. Then try to increase the amount very slightly each time you offer it to them until they’re eating the correct portion size for their age.

Child eating with family

Keep it low key

When you give your child something new to eat be casual about it, as if it’s nothing important. If they don’t try it, keep your cool and don’t react. Children pick up on our moods and will quickly associate that food with negative emotions.

Child's plate with leftover vegetables

Slow wins the race

Take your time there’s no rush. Don’t bombard your child with lots of new flavours at once. Slowly introduce them over time and add the occasional new food to a meal they like.

Children's sticker chart

Keep a chart

Kids love filling in charts and putting stickers on things. Every time they try a new food, reward them by giving them a new sticker or letting them colour in a new vegetable on their “taste chart”.

Two kids eating together

Learning from others

Children tend to copy their friends. If your child has a friend who’s a more adventurous eater, invite them around for tea. Your child will be more likely to try a new food if they see a friend eat it. Your child will also likely pick up signals from your own eating habits. Modelling your healthy and relaxed relationship with food teaches your kids that its safe and enjoyable to eat different types of food.

Bibliography


1. Leal LO et al. Open Nutr J 2012;6:123-130.

2. Great Ormond Street Hospital, 2009: http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/medical-information/general-health-advice/food-and-diet/fussy-eaters Accessed 16th September 2020 

Date of preparation September 2020. UK-PDSHK-2000095