Fussy eating: “How do I get my ‘fussy eater’ child to eat new foods?”

Stacey Zimmels from FeedEatSpeak is a feeding & swallowing specialist and Speech and Language Therapist

Dealing with a fussy eater can be extremely exhausting and frustrating. Are you regularly throwing meticulously prepared balanced meals in the bin? Do you have mum guilt that they’re having fishfingers and beans again? Are you constantly comparing with other kids who eat spinach and lentils and wondering where it all went wrong?

If any of this resonates… welcome to the club. Fussy eating is a normal phase of development. And any feelings of stress, guilt and frustration you may have are also normal.

Here are my top tips to help your child to eat new foods

Offer new foods regularly and repeatedly. Studies show that exposure to foods is key in getting children to accepting them

Eat together. Your child will be more likely to try something new if they see someone else eating it.

Involve your child in food preparation, cooking and baking from an early age. Use this time as an opportunity to talk about the foods you’re preparing and teach them about where foods come from what they look, feel and smell like

No pressure. Pressuring, coercing, bribing, threatening, rewarding your child to eat may bring short term success but isn’t shown to help with food acceptance in the long term.

Keep at it! You are playing the long game and it may take a while but you can get there. My daughter has just started eating rice and carrots (nearly 4 years old) and my son has started eating salmon (nearly 2 years old). Why? Because it was on their plates – a lot! And if it hadn’t been on their plate then they definitely wouldn’t have tried it.

Head over to FeedEatSpeak for more feeding and fussy eating tips.

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