Baby Hints & Tips

Encouraging fussy eaters

fruit happy face(Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.)

My son (nearly 7 months) started solids early so he’s been eating pretty well, all home cooked foods etc, but he was pretty sick for a couple of weeks and now he will only eat tinned food, I hate that stuff and would love it he would eat the food I cook for him but every time I try he just shakes his head and goes crazy. I’ve tried mixing it but he seems to know.

  • It took til my daughter was 2 to get her eating without a drama. 2 biggest tips are
    1. STAY CALM, be firm but calm. Act like you don’t expect a problem and you may not get one
    2. BUY a really good rewards chart once they are old enough to understand them
  • Our food times used to be a constant battle because I was so stressd she wasn’t eating. We both hated meal times. Now we rarely have a drama. Carlene
  • As a mum of 6 I know that kids will eat when they are hungry. Mishelle
  • My second whos 8 1/2 mnths will not eat the tinned/jar stuff i have tried and tried she just throws it up so i dnt bother with it anymore just make everything at home but she loves mashed potato but you kno they will eat when theyre hungry. Jess
  • Hang in there! sometimes they just start eating. mine have not eaten for weeks (so it feels), tonight they ate two serves of dinner followed two serves of yoghurt and fruit! Shellie
  • Dont give in to the tanty, if they push food away, just put it to the side. Dont make a big deal about what they are to eat and force them to eat they will nearly always not eat something if you force it on them. Dont make up something else especially either. Try to keep to the 5 meals a day rule, try to avoid the 4.30 snack as they will not eat a full meal at night. Keep the last snack before dinner at 3.15pm and then dinner earlier at 5-5.30pm. They should eat like a king at breakfast, fruit for morning tea and eat like a prince at lunch, afternoon tea cracker and cheese maybe then eat like a poor man at night. They will sleep better with a light meal in their tummy than a heavy one. Just like us! Kids willnot go hungry. They will soon cotton on that if they dont eat the meal you give them they will not get something else til the next snack or lunch or dinner time…Gayle
  • Gayle, that is very well said. We have lots of issues if my daughter snacks after about 4pm. Tanya
  • Let ’em be fussy…hide the veg in every thing they do eat!! Rebecca
  • Try and make food look attractive smiley face or a house. keep portions small, toddlers find big meals daunting. don’t make them sit there and force them to eat. well said gale, avoid 430 snacks. avoids feeding them unhealthy food. what they don’t have they won’t miss. Bek
  • If you are really worried worried, I would say it pays to visit your Child Health Nurse for a check. Sometimes a child who consistently refuses a particular texture & who is losing weight may need a referral to a Speech Pathologist & Dietician to make sure everything is ok. Jo
  • They will eat if they are hungry I had my nephew for 3 nights while my sister was in hospital she lets him eat in front of a tv and what he wants my 3 kids eat what is put on there plate at the table each time I was cooking he said I dont like that I simply said well you will eat it and each night he cleared his plate with out an argument 🙂 and I gave him a treat each time. Jaimee-Lee

How do you encourage your fussy toddler to eat? Share your tips below.

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