How To Help A Young Fussy Eater Without Putting Them Off Their Food

So, How Do You Tackle The Problem?

Well, you can’t put your head in the sand and hope that it goes away. It won’t, and in fact if you don’t take action to help your child eat healthy food – they may end up with a severe eating disorder.

So, here’s what clinical nutritionists recommend that you do instead:

  • Look at what your child is eating now. It’s possible that there are combinations of food in their daily diet which set off their “fussiness”. For example, dairy and refined carbohydrates are very common in causing problems in child nutrition. They slow down the ability to digest food and mute the taste of other foods; that’s why children reach for something “tasty”, it’s all they can taste.
  • Is your child neophobic? The main battle is getting that first mouthful down? After that they’re happy but getting them to try something in the first place is a pure nightmare? Then help them explore the world of food. Teach them to grow it, feel it and explore it. Try new food every time you encounter it from the supermarket to your local farmer’s market.

Boys, in particular, may take much longer to process the environment around them and are more likely to resist changes in their diet. The earlier you tackle this, the easier it is. Get them involved in cooking and enjoying the preparation of food, the sights and smells of it and normalizing all foods because that’s how kids become comfortable with them.

These tips come from combining a strong understanding of food and an understanding of sensory perception. If you take either in isolation, you end up with frustrating food approaches that either upset parents, upset children or all too often upset both.

If you use these tips, you’ll help attune your children’s sense to the joys of food and ensure that you’re not blocking their body’s path to appreciating a healthy diet. Why not start on this today? The longer you leave it, the harder it’s going to be. So, begin now and see your child’s relationship with food dramatically improve.


Perth nutritionist and founder of Little Fusspot Beth Bonfiglio has become known worldwide as the “Supernanny of Mealtimes”. Beth understands the impact that poor eating can have on the physical and mental health of children. She has worked with leading occupational therapists and psychologists, researching and developing strategies for dealing with various fussy eaters. Beth has now pulled together years of her work into a series of online courses tailored to helping three different types of fussy eaters. The courses aim to make this highly specialised care accessible and affordable to families with little fusspots on a global scale. Beth is a 2018 Ausmumpreneur Award Finalist in the Western Australian Business Excellence section. You can also find Little Fusspot on Facebook and Instagram

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