It’s normal, BUT the decisions you make now have the potential to heal or harm.
Here’s how to stop it from developing into true fussy eating
Your child might be pushing their plate away and telling you dinner is "yuk" or dropping food on the floor while whining that they "don't like it.”
But you need to know that this is normal for young children.
They can skip meals or suddenly refuse to eat foods that they once loved.
And this fussy eating can go on for years, depending upon how you respond.
You might be feeling incredibly frustrated as they liked that meal last week and if you're honest with yourself you’re actually a little bit worried because they haven't eaten enough to get the nutrients they need.
Young children WILL reject new food and make constant requests for the same favourites day in day out (fish fingers again?!) It’s part of their normal child development.
And it can be easy to slip into feeding them in front of an iPad or making meals you know they’ll eat.
Its scientific term is 'food neophobia' and it’s thought to stem from our caveman days to prevent inquisitive little people from accidentally poisoning themselves!
But wouldn't it be wonderful to be sat around the kitchen table sharing a family meal and your little one is happily munching away on the broccoli and even asks for seconds!
Or perhaps you could go out for dinner again to a Thai restaurant and not have to worry that there’ll be children menu.
You can have this but how you respond to your child during this incredibly frustrating stage will determine how quickly you get there, or alternatively whether their fussy eating lasts longer and gets 10 times worse.
Would you like to know how?
I have 7 top tips for successful mealtimes to share with you in the next video.You’ll find it in your inbox.
You've got a fussy eater...here's what you need to do
You've got a fussy eater...here's what you need to doYour child is fussy with food.
The only way you can get them to eat is to distract them with your phone while you spoon food into their mouths or bring their favourite toy to the dinner table letting them feed 'Mr dinosaur' while you try to feel them.
Dessert works as a great bargaining tool, you know that they'll eat a little more if you remind them that there's something yummy coming up if they do a great job.
And when it comes to family mealtimes, it's obvious that they really don't want to be there, you might be forever reminding them to sit still, eat a bit more chicken, stop throwing food, and to be quite honest you're pulling your hair out with frustration.
You tend to cook the same meals on repeat because you know what your child likes, but that’s a far cry from what you want for dinner so you eat with your partner after your child goes to bed.
And I imagine that in the evening you're probably sitting on the sofa googling for answers but nearly all the advice suggests hidden veg pasta sauce or teddy bear-shaped cottage pie?
You know that none of this works!
What you really want is just to make one meal that everyone eats.
Wouldn’t it be a dream for your child to come to the table happily, sit down nicely and munch away, you probably wouldn't mind if they didn't clean their plate, just so long as there was less drama at mealtimes and they didn't refuse it outright.Helping a fussy eater to like new foods isn’t easy and does need specialist help (which is why none of those food tips on google actually work).
I’ve got a video for you that takes you through the 5 strategies I use with families that REALLY work…and only one of them actually involves the food!
You’ll find the video in your inbox.
Your child's fussy eating may be a feeding problem, here's what you need to do
Your child struggles to sit at the table with other family members at mealtimes and even the sight and smell of food can make them gag or vomit.
They probably have a list of just a few foods, that they consider 'safe' to eat.
You're likely to be terribly worried because as a consequence of their fussy eating their health may have started to suffer. They may already be terribly slim and they really don’t have a lot of spare weight to lose if their eating gets worse.
You’d go as far as to say their lack of eating is interfering with their day-to-day life.
Some extreme fussy eaters have a condition called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It may have a medical or sensory cause or stems from your child having a bad experience with food like a choking episode or allergic reaction.
It won't go away without professional help like feeding therapy and nutritional support.You know you need some help but you don't know where to turn to.
You want to be able to speak to a professional who will take your worries seriously and dig a little deeper to get this solved, rather than churn out the same old feeding advice that doesn't work...If this sounds like your child it's important you get the right help, and often this is from several different professionals working together. The first step is to go to your GP and ask for a referral to a feeding clinic where the feeding therapists can carry out a specialist feeding assessment and work out the right plan for your child.