Tips if your child is a fussy eater

Erin is a very well rounded child, in terms of her size. She’s not over weight and not under weight, so the fact that she is a TERRIBLE eater easily goes by unnoticed, as nobody will ever “remind” Damien or I that our child is underweight, as she isn’t.

But in the last 6 months I have noticed her fussy eating habits become worse by the day, she only likes to eat rubbish, nothing else, only junk.  Erin’s principal suggested we see a dietician, as she even noticed that she hardly ate any of the food provided at school for lunch.

Of course it is our fault, as we allowed her to eat that junk, but something had to be done.

Damien and I met with Alison Lang (Dietician) two months ago to discuss Erin’s bad eating habits and it was so well worth it, even Damien said that it was R500 well spent.

Here are some of the tips Alison gave us:

  • child decides how much and whether they will eat
  • parent decides what food is on offer, when and where the meal or snack is served
  • don’t let your child “drink” their calories – this was one of Erin’s major issues – smoothies and squishy’s constantly
  • 3 meals and 2 snacks – that’s it
  • NO eating in bed – Erin always told us she was hungry in bed, just to procrastinate sleeping….
  • water, water, water – limit juice etc. as much as possible
  • don’t snack before supper, the child needs to come to the supper/ lunch table – SUPER hungry
  • don’t force your child to eat and don’t fight about food
  • don’t provide a menu of foods, only 1 or 2 options. You aren’t running a restaurant
  • plan meals – this was one of my biggest mistakes, I always used to improvise when I got home and by 5pm Erin was already starving
  • If your child doesn’t eat fruit or vegetables (Erin eats ZERO fruit and ZERO vegetables), just put it on the plate, they don’t need to eat it, they just need to see it, daily

We aren’t there yet, but we are 100% better than where we were.

Alison’s rooms are at Donald Gordon and her email is Alison@clinicaldiets.co.za

Please share any fussy eater tips you may have, I’m open to any advice at this stage.

Erin 01