Tricks to convince the fussiest of eaters
While fussy eaters can make mealtimes difficult, it is important to keep calm and carry on. Offering your baby a variety of new tastes and textures is the best way to help them get the nutrients they need. So if they refuse broccoli one day, try again – they may enjoy it next time
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Tips for fussy eaters
If your baby only tends to eat a few favourite foods, they will be less likely to develop a taste for a more varied and balanced diet, and can easily become a fussy eater. Most babies are accepting of a range of food tastes until they hit the toddler years. What’s important is trying to get as much variety as possible into their diet early on, to ensure they get the nutrients they need.
Here are some suggestions on how to encourage your baby to eat a wider variety of foods:
- Lead by example – try some of their food yourself and make appreciative noises and expressions so your baby understands it’s something pleasant
- Start small – smaller portions are less daunting and you can always offer a bit more if they enjoy it
- Offer portions of different tastes so if they don’t like one thing, they can try something else – but avoid offering their favourite food too frequently
- If your baby spits something out, try it again another day – perhaps mixed in with a little of their favourite food. Remember – you’ll probably have to be patient
- Try the same food in different ways, such as puréed carrot and cooked carrot sticks to pick up and eat
- Make meals fun and appealing by offering a rainbow of colours, like green broccoli, orange sweet potato and yellow banana – talking about the different colours can help to spark their interest
- While you shouldn’t pressure your baby to eat something they dislike, a gentle prompt might persuade them to try it again
- Eat meals together – children are far more likely to eat foods that you are sat eating with them
1. Hammons AJ & Fiese BH. Is Frequency of Shared Family Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents? [Online]. 2011. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/6/e1565[Accessed July 2014]
Last reviewed: 21st August 2014
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