5 Tips for Dealing with a Fussy Eater

Having a fussy eater in the family really does bring us down and limits dinner times. Here's some top tips for all those struggling.
Ever since weaning age, Keira has always proved herself to be challenging when it comes to food but I wasn’t aware just how much of a fussy eater she was going to be. From around 11 months old she had already made me aware of what she liked and disliked, or maybe it was just what she wanted to eat and what she didn’t.

I have always been able to count on one hand the foods that she will eat, yep there really isn’t many, and it has been such a stress getting her to eat something new or something that she “didn’t like”. Meal times have been so stressful and most of the time they end up in tears from us both. I never thought that trying to get your child to eat could be so draining, mentally and physically.

As Keira got older I realised that it was easier just to give her the foods she would eat, it was much better than fighting with her or trying to get her to eat something different. Meal times became enjoyable again and there were no more tears! I was just happy that she was eating something.

So I’ve decided to share with you my top 5 tips to help you deal with a fussy eater.

1. Don’t force them to eat something.

It won’t work. Kids are clever, more clever than we think. If they don’t want to eat it, they won’t. If they aren’t going to eat what you have given then that’s okay, it isn’t the end of the world.

2. Don’t stress.

If they aren’t eating their dinners then don’t panic, they won’t starve themselves and 9 times out of 10 they’ll end up picking off your dinner (and you let them just so they’ve eaten something).

3. Give them the foods they like, as well as something new on their plate.

I do this all the time with Keira and she never touches the new food, she’ll even tell me that she doesn’t like whatever it is I’ve put there, but at least she’ll be getting used to it.

Having a fussy eater in the family really does bring us down and limits dinner times. Here's some top tips for all those struggling.

4. Lots of praise (and maybe a little treat).

When they have eaten something new, or something they didn’t like previously, lots of praise goes a long way! Keira loves being praised so it works really well for her and she knows that if she at least tries something new that she’ll get a little reward.

5. Let they help to make dinner.

I’ve found that Keira is much more willing to try something when she has helped make it, especially when it comes to desserts (yes she’s fussy about everything, cake won’t touch her lips!).

I honestly believe that they grow out of fussy eating, since starting nursery Keira has eaten foods she would never have eaten at home, but it is a very slow process. So maybe being at nursery, and seeing the other children eat, is helping her to overcome being a fussy eater. She isn’t behind on anything development wise and her eating habits haven’t affected her weight, so I know she’s thriving even if she does have a limited taste in food!

Have you dealt with a fussy eater? What helps you at meal times?

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  1. Glad she's growing out of it! We have good days and bad days, usually is my eldest refuses something he has a reason, and i'm slowly teaching him to use his words. Just yesterday we had lunch out and he only ate a few bites then said it was 'too much'. I was annoyed, then I realised he couldn't possibly mean 'too much' as in he was full, so I asked if the 'flavour was too much'. He seemed relieved and then was able to explain that it was too salty, so I got him something else. xx #picnmix

  2. Annoyingly my children both ate anything as babies and toddlers but became more fussy over time. Just like I was as a child 😉 Karma or what?! Hopefully they'll be like me and like pretty much everything when they grow up. Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  3. Ah no! They certainly like to repeat history. Keira's done the same to me, with the fussy eating, but she now likes to eat at the speed of a snail! I remember my dad sitting me out of the room to eat my dinner as it would take me well over an hour haha! XX

  4. I’ve just seen this, and it’s so frustrating when they’re fussy isn’t it?!
    My son was a dream to wean, he ate pretty much everything we gave him (not fruit though haha!) now though, at 16 months he’s spent the past 2 months not eating potato in any shape or form. It’s making dinner time a nightmare! It’s a staple in 90% of meals in our house lol! Really struggling with what to give him (rice is also a no go.) he loves pasta but I don’t want to give him that for dinner every night?! Any advice? Becky x

    1. It’s really hard isn’t it! Keira literally just eat chicken nuggets, macaroni cheese, those pasta shapes in tomato sauce, normal pasta and cereal. So I literally just give her all of those things and alternate. She does eat a mild curry at nursery but she doesn’t like the curry sauce I make. Must get their recipe! My advice, give him what he’s happy to eat but add something on his plate that you would like him to try. Like one chip or something. He’ll probably throw a right fit about it, I know Keira does, but just tell him that he doesn’t have to eat but it has to stay on his plate. Keira’s started trying bits now, normally just licks it haha. Don’t stress about it though and I’ve stopped offering treats for “just one taste”. Hopefully there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! X

  5. Oh my gosh that’s the story of my life too! My daughter is 14 months old and she only eats rice at home.. no fruits at all! I’ve tried many things but she will just spit out what she doesn’t like.. hmm.. so I actually do what you do Amy, give her what she likes most of the week. However, her day care log says that she eats a lot of variety of food there .. maybe it’s just my cooking? Haha..

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