What about really, really, really fussy eaters?

This infographic is a summary of advice for handling fussy eating.

But what if you have tried all these things, and more, but you still feel that your child is eating very little and making no progress to eating new things. What if you feel that they are getting worse? What should you do?

When there is significant worry about whether your child is eating enough, that they may be suffering nutritionally, then it is time to assess whether you need some specialist help – do you need a paediatric dietitian?

First thing to do is to keep a note of what they eat? We notice when they don’t eat very much, when they make a big fuss – they seem not to eat anything. We sometimes don’t register or remember clearly what they have eaten, only what they didn’t eat. It helps to keep a note to help your memory. If you do decide to see a specialist this can be helpful in your discussions with them.

Make a list of all the foods that they will eat. Include foods that they eat sometimes or just a little of, not just those they eat with pleasure. You may be surprised how many foods they do eat or see that where you thought the biggest problem was is not quite true. For example, they eat more vegetables than you realise but actually hardly have any protein rich foods.

Now you have a list, ask a few questions?

  • Do they eat less than 20 different foods?
  • Is any one of the food groups not included in the list at all – fruit and vegetables, protein foods (meat, beans and pulses, eggs and fish), starchy foods or dairy?
  • Are they lethargic or often sickly?
  • Does your doctor feel that your child is not growing well?
  • Is there any sign that your child is uncomfortable after eating?

If the answer is yes to these questions then it would be beneficial to seek the advice of a dietitian who specializes in severe fussy eating. They will help you tackle the problem but also ensure that their health is not suffering and may also help to identify any other problems aggravating the issue.

If you answered no to those questions but you are struggling to cope with fussy eating in your house, get in touch. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand. Slowly, slowly, step by step there are ways to move your child gradually towards happy and intuitive eating.

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