16. Do You Have a Fussy Eater?

Fussy Eater with Sharing Parenting Fussy eating is really a common issue with children so please be reassured by that.

Here are some of our top tips to help with fussy eating.

  1. Eating together, and having the same meals will often help children be less anxious about eating. This is a good opportunity to connect with your child.
  1. Timing, think of your child’s basic needs, if they are too tired or over hungry, they are less likely to eat well.
  1. Limit snacks an hour before meal times. If they are consistently asking for snack, consider changing your meal times.
  1. Keep meal times to 30 minutes maximum, if they haven’t eaten by then they probably aren’t going to.
  1. Keep portions small, don’t be tempted to pile too much on their plate, this may overwhelm them.
  1. Think of how much they have eaten over course of a week instead of daily, often younger children will have good day and bad days with food. As long as they have some good days with foods you do not have to worry to much.
  1. If they don’t eat a meal don’t be tempted to give them something straight away. Children will soon learn they can refuse a meal for something else and this will often result in a more limited diet. You can always offer a snack an hour later.
  1. Get them involved in making the meals, working together will motivate them to eat.
  1. Focus on positive praise where ever you can, if your child is not eating focusing on it only makes the issue worse. Sometimes children learn they get attention for not eating and this gives them another reason not to eat. If they get praise for eating, they are likely to want to receive it again.
  1. Messy play- eating is quite a sensory experience. Messy play can help children except new sensory experiences.
  1. For school aged children, talk to them about healthy diets and get them to think about how they can be healthier. If they are included in decision making, they are more likely to accept these options.

If your child is often suffering from constipation this can affect their appetite, contact your G.P for advice and if you are concerned about their health.

If your child is under a year and they are slow to wean or you feel the fussy eating may be a sensory issue discuss the this with a Health visitor or Nurse.

Nina explains more in this video:

There are lots of other videos on our website:

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You can contact us or email us with your parenting questions at and give us a call for confidential advice on 07867 568339.