Fussy eating

healthy bodies TIPS Offer healthy, home-prepared meals at regular meal and snack times. Keep offering new foods.        A new food may need to be offered up to 15 times before it is accepted. Even then, a food may still be genuinely disliked by a child (or adult). Don’t assume your child will dislike a food. Serve new foods with foods they know and like. Offer healthy finger foods so children can feed themselves. HAPPY MEAL TIMES Eating as a family is a great  way to spend time together. Keeping mealtimes calm and social means children are more likely to enjoy food. Avoid distractions, turn off  the TV and pack toys away. If your child does not eat what is offered, calmly take it away. Praise your child when they do try new foods, no matter how small the amount. Keep meals simple, so you’re less disappointed when food is refused. Accept that young children can make a mess at mealtimes. It may help to place a plastic mat under your child’s chair. Offer words of encouragement but do not argue, bribe or force your child to eat. Avoid making negative comments about food or getting angry at your child for not eating. Prepare your child for the meal by letting them know five minutes before meals are served. WHEN TO EAT? Young children have small tummies so as a guide offer three small main meals and two or three snacks at regular times each day. Offer new foods at the time of day when your child is most relaxed and not too tired. CHILDREN DECIDE HOW MUCH TO EAT Young children know how  much food their bodies need. Don’t force your child to eat as this can get in the way of their natural ability to know when they are hungry and when they are full. Your child can decide whether or not to eat and will probably learn to accept most foods offered if alternatives are not provided. Children’s appetites vary greatly from day to day. Don’t worry if your child occasionally does not eat a meal or snack, they are likely to make up for it at the next meal or over the next few days.