Offer a variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups at each family meal. Make food attractive. Offer a variety of different colours, shapes and sizes and let your child choose what they eat from the plate. Offer different foods from each of the five healthy food groups. For example, if your child doesn’t like cheese, they might enjoy yoghurt instead.
Go for variety yourself – show your child that you’re willing to try new foods and that you enjoy them too. Healthy family food and an eating environment that encourages a positive attitude to healthy food make a great start for your child. Serve your child the same meal the family is eating but in a portion size your child will eat. If your child doesn’t eat it, say something like, ‘Try it, it’s yummy’. If they still don’t want it, calmly say, ‘OK, we’ll try it another time when you’re hungry’.
Consistency is key. Offer food, again and again, to improve familiarity but cook it differently to improve your child’s sensory experience, for example, think of how you can cook the same food with different textures. Your child will probably try them and eventually like them – but they might have to see a food on the plate 10-15 times before they even try a taste.
When introducing a new food, put a small amount of it on the plate with familiar food your child already likes – for example, a piece of broccoli alongside some mashed potato. Start small. For example, start by asking your child to lick a piece of food, and work up to trying a mouthful. Praise your child for any small attempts!
This snippet is from our “Parents Guide To Fussy Eating” by Nibble and Rest. If you would like a copy of it, please sign up at the contact us page on our website for your free copy!
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