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How to give fussy eaters a balanced diet

How to give fussy eaters a balanced diet

As babies grow up, they progress from milk to more and more solid foods, and between the ages of 2-3 and 6, most children go through a phase of neophobia (fear of anything new) during which they systematically reject anything new and only want to eat foods they know they like.

Why dos this happen? Children seek reassurance by only eating foods they're familiar with; hence the importance of getting them used to eating fruit and veg when they're babies, so that they have a wider range of 'familiar' foods.

How to handle fussy eaters
> Don't turn mealtimes into a drama: Even if they won't eat what you've cooked, they won't starve themselves either.
> Don't give in to their whims: It's a bad idea to let children eat whatever they fancy (it's bad for their weight and bad for their mindset). Lay down your rules and decide what's good for them. Never cook separate meals for a fussy child: children should eat the same meals as the rest of the family.
> Avoid conflict by showing your children that their food is there to be enjoyed!

How to associate eating with enjoyment
> Let them handle food and help you cook
: Helping mummy or daddy cook familiarizes children with different types of food and makes them less afraid of trying different things.
> Veg = enjoyment: Don't treat vegetables as punishment food! Add a little butter or cheese to their spinach or leeks (in moderation) to help them go down better.
> Persevere: Remember the taste of your very first cup of tea or coffee? We often learn to love some flavors only after we've tried them several times and got used to the taste. The same goes for kids. Serve the same foods regularly, cooked the same way, so that your children become familiar with them - very often they'll end up liking them. And otherwise, lay down the rules: they have to have at least a little of the foods they don't like every time you cook them. 


Sarah Horrocks
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