It’s not uncommon for children of this age to be fussy eaters, especially when it comes to eating vegetables or fruit. While it can be distressing for a parent when a child doesn’t eat, unless it is affecting their growth, it is usually just a stage that soon passes.
- Make meal times routine, regular and predictable. Start to develop an eating routine of three meals a day plus healthy snacks in between, with the television off.
- Keep offering new foods now and again. The more your child becomes familiar with this food the more likely they will learn to accept it.
- Try alternatives if certain foods are avoided or try different ways of preparing the food.
- Disguise vegetables in meals like spaghetti bolognaise, rissoles etc
- Do not use food as a reward as this food can become more desirable and be over-consumed in the future.
- Avoid providing non-nutritious foods to make up for missed meals.
- Be a good role model, if you eat healthily your child will follow in your footsteps. If you do indulge in some unhealthy food, try to do it while they are sleeping and store it out of sight and reach.
- Avoid cooking extras or special food for your child outside meal times if they are refusing to eat at meals;
- By eating with your child at family meals, you can model your enjoyment of eating healthy meals. You may also wish to reinforce your child’s eating behaviours by giving him or her compliments whenever he or she shows good table manners.