Tips for Fussy Eaters

We asked best-selling British cookbook author, children's nutrition expert and mom of three Annabel Karmel to answer your biggest picky-eater questions

Tips for Fussy EatersWhich should I serve first to my baby, sweet or savoury?

“I like to start with root vegetables, and I quickly move on to fruits and go back to the vegetables. What I don’t do is give cereals for weeks on end. I think the more variety they get when they’re young, the better, because they are quite good in the first year eating and beyond one year they can become quite difficult.”

Food battles with fussy eaters:

“Focus on the positive, so if they do take a tiny, tiny amount of something, you praise them and you try to ignore the negative behaviour (tears, whining). So you try to pretend you don’t care even though you do care. If you have to put yourself in a room and scream later, do it out of sight of the child so they know that their bad behaviour isn’t giving them any attention. Once you do that they quickly stop making a fuss. It’s quite hard to do because you are emotionally attached to your child, but it is the best thing to do. Keep on giving them things you think they will eat. If they don’t eat it, you just take it away and say, “You’re obviously not hungry.’ You don’t go and then get something unhealthy they like and give it to them.”

Beyond basic meals:

“The more you give them just a very restrictive variety of foods like chicken nuggets, pizza and hamburgers, the more you are going to get a fussy child because they won’t try anything new. I do find that ethnic-style foods are very popular for children… Offer them and you might be very surprised. My daughter loved olives at the age of 18 months, my son likes very spicy foods and my youngest daughter likes sushi.”

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