10 tips for fussy eaters

I recently attended hosted and attended a talk by Kath McGaw (dietician and author of Weaning sense and Allergy sense) @nutripaeds. I felt so privileged to be on the receiving end of her incredible knowledge!

I’ve already started putting the advice to use and Isla (my youngest daughter) nearly fell off of her chair this evening when she announced she was full and I didn’t even try to bribe, beg or coerce her to keep going!

I thought it only fair if I shared some of my favourite nuggets from the talk with all of you

My top 10 takeaways for fussy eating

  1. Always set your child up to win at a meal. Have something you KNOW they will eat as a part of the options.
  2. An overwhelmed/exhausted baby or toddler is unlikely to be game for new flavours or textures at the end of the day. When you and your kiddies are tired in the evenings try and keep it simple. Porridge or yogurt may be a better option for dinner and why not have some spag bol for breakfast?
  3. No rewarding or punishing with food. I am so bad with this and I need to stop it.
  4. Offer a last snack 20-30 minutes before bed. This YOU decide on in the morning and could be fruit or even ice cream. You offer this regardless of whether your child has eaten all or none of their dinner. And helps enforce point 3.
  5. Putting food into the mouth and then swallowing are steps 31 and 32 in the eating experience. We need to be exposing our kids to food in a far more gentle way instead of expecting them to just accept a spoon in their mouths. Looking at pictures, helping with shopping, cooking, smelling, and observing you eat the food is SO important before we try and get them to eat it!
  6. Your child probably doesn’t need as much formula beyond age one as you think they do. Durban ladies we are lucky to have @clarkedietitian if you need some expert advice!
  7. Early exposure to common allergens is important to reduce future allergies, even if you plan to avoid them in the future. Vegan/vegetarian Mamas speak to a dietician for advice please. Allergies are on the rise, and research tells us early exposure is SO important.
  8. Incorporate treats into your kid’s lives so that they are not a big deal.
  9. I need to expose my kids to a more varied menu. I’m stuck in a bit of a rut.
  10. The sooner our kids start dishing up for themselves from a buffet-style meal-offering the better!

I would highly recommend “Weaning Sense” to any parent who asks me and even better listening to Kath McGaw speak if the opportunity presents itself. It is so important that we set up our children well with eating so that they can have a healthy relationship with food throughout their lives.