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12th Sep 2019

Three reasons why your child might be a fussy eater and how you can fix it

Melissa Carton

Eventually the ‘I only want chicken nugget’ phase comes to us all.

When my son was younger he would eat everything and anything that you put in front of him, but sometime after he turned five that changed.

Suddenly all he wants are chicken nuggets, fish fingers and chips. Occasionally a plain cheese mini pizza makes it into the mix.

It’s something a lot of children go through but why?

There are three big reasons why your child has become a picky eater, but don’t worry, there are ways to get them back on track and befriending their vegetables again.

1) They’re using it as a power grab

If your child has suddenly become a fussy eater out of nowhere it could be because it’s their way of having control over their lives.

We tend to make all of the decisions as far as our children are concerned and for some kids, this can become overwhelming.

If this seems to be the reason why your child has begun to fight with their food help them out by giving them options.

You don’t have to go to the extreme of preparing a completely different meal for them, but allow them to have a little input into what you buy during the grocery shop and when cooking let them choose which veggies they want on their plate.

2)Following by example

We often attribute being selective about food with small children but the fact of the matter is that a lot of adults are just as picky about what they eat and it can often rub off on their children.

If you find that your child has gone off certain foods, ask yourself if you eat them? I have grown relatives who won’t touch a tomato or let a carrot go near their plate.

Children are always watching and taking their cues from the adults around them so if you want them to eat all of their greens, you’re going to have to do the same.

3)Filling up on snacks

This is a problem I’ve had with my own children, especially when they have holidays from school and spend the best part of the day raiding the kitchen.

They would snack all day on fruit, crisps and yoghurts, but then at dinner time, they wouldn’t want anything to eat.

The only way to prevent this is to cut back on the number of snack foods, especially anything high in sugar that your child may be consuming during the day.