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6 Tips to feed fussy eaters

Monday August 22, 2022
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Is your little one a fussy eater? Establish a routine and create positve habits by following our parent-friendly tips to help nourish your child.

 

Making food interesting for children is a worldwide parenting challenge, especially at the fussy eating phase.

During infancy, children are exposed to a variety of tastes and textures, some which may take some getting used to.  Often a food that is rejected in childhood, is still not eaten in adulthood.  According to research, fruit, vegetables and protein sources are the most rejected foods by children in favour of trans-fat containing foods such as processed foods.


The potential problem with fussy phases is the lowered nutrient intake and so, in this case using a children’s multivitamin may be an option to fill the nutrient gap.

Top tips for fussy eaters


1 Include children in meal prep’ - Their involvement helps to develop a bond between the child, their nutrition and food.  As the child has engaged in the preparation of the food, this will increase the likeliness of the child eating the food.  Some families can go one step beyond and involve their children in growing veggies.


2 Eat as a family – when parents eat the same meal as the children they lead by example, and it confirms that the food is safe.

 

3 Jazz up the bland – Initially, soon after weaning infants may prefer bland foods, however over time they may become a little bored of the taste.  Food can be made more interesting by adding herbs, spices or even a squeeze of lemon.

 

4 Ramp up the nutrition – A great way to increase nutrient density is to add nutrient dense foods to those with a lower density.  For example, mix spiralised courgette into pasta ribbons or spaghetti.  Similarly, cauliflower ‘rice’ and using cauliflower to replace some of the flour in pizza bases improve nutrient intake.


5 Baby led weaning – is the means of offering finger foods to infants and letting them feed themselves as opposed to the parent feeding them.  This allows the child to play with the food, explore the tastes and textures, and upon satiety, they will stop eating.  Infants are tuned into satiety signals, and it is best to let them stop eating naturally rather than force them to finish the plate.


6 Consider a children’s multivitamin – if the fussy phase lasts more than a day or two then it could be useful to use a multivitamin food supplement to fill the nutrient gap until their adventurous appetite returns.  The ViridiKid Multivitamin and Mineral Formula is a micro-capsule, so it is easier to swallow.  However, the capsule may be opened, and the contents mixed into a substantial amount of soft, cold foods, such as a mashed banana, yogurt or smoothie.

 

For more information and advice on feeding children a nutritious diet, use the link to locate your local independent health store.  www.findahealthstore.com

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References
Boswell N. Complementary Feeding Methods-A Review of the Benefits and Risks. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 4;18(13):7165.
Kutbi HA. Picky Eating in School-Aged Children: Sociodemographic Determinants and the Associations with Dietary Intake. Nutrients. 2021 Jul 23;13(8):2518.
Taylor CM, Wernimont SM, Northstone K, Emmett PM. Picky/fussy eating in children: Review of definitions, assessment, prevalence and dietary intakes. Appetite. 2015 Dec;95:349-59.

 

Author: Jenny Carson is a Nutritional Practitioner and Technical Services Manager at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Nutritional Science and is a Master of Research (MRes) in Public Health



 

TAGS: Children's Healthchildren's health, Viridikid

 

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