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Here at Sweet Spot Health, we the principles of Intuitive Eating and non-diet nutrition to help people get it together around food, body image and movement so that they can say a big stuff you to diet BS and develop a sustainable way to care for their health.

Hi! I’m Maddi

founder of sweet spot health

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Turning the Table: Strategies for Overcoming Fussy Eating in Kids

Are you a parent who’s crafted a nutritious meal for your child, only to watch them turn it down in favour of the same old chicken nuggets or tiny teddies? Don’t fret; you’re in good company! 

Kids have a knack for exhibiting fussy eating behaviours that can transform mealtime into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. Picture this: from food preferences to tiny portions or flat-out rejection of whole food groups, the battlefield at the dining table can be a real-life parenting adventure.

But hold on – it’s not all chaos and confusion! In this blog post, we’re about to embark on an exciting journey where we’ll unveil the secrets to transforming fussy eating into a sweet, harmonious relationship with food for your child.

Navigating Fussy Eating

Fussy eating may seem like a wild roller coaster ride, but it’s often a rite of passage for growing kids. As they voyage through the world of nutrition, they’re learning the ropes, developing taste preferences, and making food discoveries. However, it’s vital to navigate this adventure wisely to ensure your child’s growth and development remain on the right track. After all, those nuggets can only take them so far!

Tips for an Epic Culinary Adventure:

1. Taking Control of Mealtimes:

Ever wondered who’s in charge at mealtime? Here’s the scoop: as a parent, you determine what, when, and where meals happen, while your little one decides how much and whether to eat. Don’t worry if they pass on a meal; let them know the next one’s on the horizon. This approach helps them establish an eating routine and learn to understand their hunger and fullness cues. 

To learn more about the responsibilities during meal time, see Elyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility of Feeding

2. Creating a Foodie Haven:

Picture mealtime as a culinary haven, free from stress and coercion. No pressure, no scolding. Engage in enjoyable conversations, savour the flavours, and eliminate distractions. Remember, mindful eating helps kids tune into their hunger and fullness cues, making it an adventure worth savouring.

3. Embarking on the Quest for Routine:

Seek the treasure of regular meal and snack times to provide structure to your child’s day. Shoo away excessive snacking between these culinary adventures to ensure they’re fully ready for the next feast.

4. Patience and Perseverance:

On this food journey, you’re bound to encounter a few detours. Fussy eating is often just a phase, and kids can change their course with time. Keep offering a variety of foods, even if they initially give them the cold shoulder. It may take up to 15 attempts before they’re ready to embrace a new food!

5. Food Creativity:

Add some fun to your food odyssey by crafting inventive and exciting dishes. Let colourful, artistic plates take centre stage, and transform fruits and veggies into fascinating shapes. Kids are more likely to give new foods a try when they come in captivating packages.

6. Invite Them Aboard:

Turn your child into a co-captain on this culinary adventure. Engage them in meal preparation, let them join the grocery store quests, or establish your very own herb and vegetable garden. When kids have a hand in selecting or creating their food, they’re more eager to explore.

7. Food as Fun, Not Punishment:

Abandon the idea of using food as a reward for good behaviour or taking it away as punishment. All foods deserve their place in your child’s diet, so treat them equally. This culinary escapade should revolve around discovery, not limitations.

The Takeaways

Your journey through fussy eating may have started with reluctance, but it’s bound to end in victory. Remember, every child is a unique explorer on their food adventure. Flexibility, patience, and a positive food environment are your trusted compasses.

Should you spot your little one avoiding entire food groups or experiencing significant changes in appetite or weight, reach out to a qualified dietitian.

At Sweet Spot Health, we’re here to assist you in uncovering the hidden gems of a harmonious relationship with food, whether you’re charting the course for your child or embarking on your journey. 

Hi I’m Sophia, an Accredited Practising Dietitian who specialises in paediatrics and fussy eating at Sweet Spot Health, and the author of this post. Book an appointment and kick-start your culinary expedition today!

Here at Sweet Spot Health, we the principles of Intuitive Eating and non-diet nutrition to help people get it together around food, body image and movement so that they can say a big stuff you to diet BS and develop a sustainable way to care for their health.

Hi! I’m Maddi

sweet spot health founder

BACK TO BLOGS