Welcome to Dr Brown’s Baby blog, Tot Spot! This space is for all things baby and parent related. If you have questions you’d like answered, message us on our Facebook or Instagram page and we will respond there. We may even do some FAQ blog posts so everyone can have their questions answered in one place.
Struggling to know how to handle your finicky feeder? Read on to find out some ways to tackle their habit!
Fussy eating in children is relatively normal but this doesn’t make it any easier to cope with. Oftentimes, fussy eaters want to become independent and this is presented by what they choose not to eat. The preference of not liking the shape, colour, or texture of foods is very common. Another normal habit for children is to enjoy eating something one day and not at all the next. What’s important is to know that the fussiness tends to subside the older they get, eventually learning to love a whole range of foods.
Making mealtime fun
Ensuring the environment for your child is pleasant, distraction free, and low in stress during mealtime should help. Make sure mealtime is regular and a positive. Worrying about food mess is easy to do but try not in order to keep your child relaxed. Set a time limit of about 20 mins for meals, if nothing has been eaten in this time, take away the food and only offer food at the next planned meal or snack time. Cutting up food into fun or interesting shapes can help them take an interest in new foods.
Giving independence around food
Supporting your child’s independence is important. As a way to encourage but still keep them interested in new foods, ask them to help with family meal preparation. This can be done by washing fruits and veggies, choosing from a list of recipes or helping you to toss the salad! These tasks will help them to feel accomplished and more likely to eat food they’ve participated in helping with.
Introducing new food
There’s a number of ways to give your child confidence or encouragement to try new food. Placing a small bit of new food next to well loved food will encourage them to smell, touch or even lick the new food. Turning meals into pictures and shapes can also help them to have fun whilst choosing new food. Continuously offering your child the refused food is important, as it will often take 10-15 times of seeing that food on their plate before it is even tried. Another way of introducing food is by getting them to try different types of the same food group. For example they may not like eggs but like beans – both good forms of protein.
The process can feel long and difficult but it’s important to keep at it! Try not to use bribing as a way of encouraging them to eat. Being bribed with ‘sometimes’ food may discourage healthy eating and get them to see eating healthy food as irritating.
We know you can do this, we’re cheering for you!
Got any tips for us and other parents? Let us know on social media!