Having fussy eaters is a real challenge for parents at mealtimes. Tricks like turning spoons into aeroplanes might not do the job every time or as they grow, so here are 10 Top Tactics to Combat Fussy Eaters, all recommended by parents:
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#1. Set Meal Times
Get your little ones into a proper routine by having meals at the same time everyday and try to avoid grazing throughout the day.
#2. Remove Distractions
Do a countdown before mealtimes to turn off the telly or games console (and parents you should put down your phone too!). Make sure mealtimes are seen as enjoyable family time.
#3. Family Time
Try to sit down as a family as often as you can (we know it’s not possible all the time) but when you can do it, it’s worth it. When everyone is eating the same meal your little ones will be more likely to follow the example set.
You might also enjoy reading 13 Expert Tips to Help Your Picky Eaters
Try not to rush mealtimes, it needs to be enjoyable for your child especially if they are trying a new food.
A small reward can be a great way to combat fussy eating. If your child tries a new food reward them with a game or a trip to the park. Avoid using sugary treats!
#6. No Fuss
Try your best not to fuss if your child is refusing to eat a certain food. Be “matter of fact” about it and explain how we need food to grow up big and strong!
You might also enjoy reading 8 Proven Family Dinners Ideas Your Picky Eaters Will Love
Offer small portions and a varied diet. Avoid going down the plain route e.g plain pasta or noodles. Present the full meal in a small portion and introduce new flavours each time.
#8. Don’t Force!
There are some foods kids just don’t have a taste for, accept that and don’t force. My eldest daughter just hates mushrooms and despite numerous attempts, she has never liked them. Continuous encouragement is a better tactic.
Get the kids involved in preparing dinner with simple tasks like washing veg or picking out new recipes together. Having a sidekick in the kitchen can encourage good eating habits.
#10. Theme Night
Try a theme night once a month to introduce your child to new flavours and cuisines. For example Italian night! Gather the family round for a pizza party or a pasta feast. Or try a new cuisine you’ve never tried before like Vietnamese or Spanish.
You might also enjoy reading Top Tips for Fussy Eaters
Over to you now. Any tips or tactics you’ve found successful for dealing with your fussy eaters? Tell us in the comments below.