How to change a fussy eating toddler

The questions we get asked the most is how to combat fussy eating in your children. It’s one we love to answer as we know how frustrating it can be to have a child that doesn’t appear to be eating much variation and who spends a lot of time ‘exercising their right’ to refuse the food you took all that time to prepare.
 
So, I’m here to tell you – you are not alone. My eldest child has been my fussiest eater by far. We used to worry sick about whether she was getting the right nutrients as she really wasn’t willing to try new things but we now have a happy, healthy and dare I say it – adventurous four year old at the dinner table.
 
So, here are our five simple tips to try and combat those fussy eating toddlers in your house.
 
1. It’s not just what you are eating – it’s where, at what time and who with. Make mealtimes a happy time in the family. Ensure there is routine around dinner times and snack times. If you notice they are more likely to refuse a meal, try cutting the snack out between meals. Hungry toddlers always appear less fussy. 

2. Ignore the fussy behaviour. Children love attention and food refusal is the best time to get parent’s attention on them. Try to talk about your day or things you want to do tomorrow and don’t be tempted to talk about ‘having one bite’ or bribing with an after-dinner treat. 

3. Don’t overwhelm your child with lots of new foods or food that they’ve previously said they dislike. Make sure there are 2-3 things on their plate that you know they will eat and introduce something they find more challenging one at a time. If they don’t eat it, don’t mention it and try again next month. 

4. Get children involved in the preparation and selection of food. Talk to them about the texture, taste and smell of a food as you chop it up and show them how it changes when it’s cooked. There are so many learning and bonding opportunities in food preparation. 

5. Mealtimes are sensory overload. Smell, sound, and taste are in overdrive. Try and make what they can ‘see’ more appealing. We designed our organic bamboo section plates for portion control and fussy eating children – we would recommend the owl plate or the toddler plate for the fussiest eaters as there are three sections to separate each food group. 
If you haven't already - get some shape cutters – carrots are so much tastier if they are flower shaped! 

Things won’t change overnight but if you do introduce these recommendations, we hope that within two weeks, you’ll have less stressful mealtimes at home.

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