Top Tips for Fussy Eaters
Sarah Tayler is a Senior Nursery Manager at our Kindred Hainault nursery and has over 18 years childcare experience. She has always been incredibly passionate about children's nutrition and was instrumental in the design of our accredited menus.
Sarah chats to us about fussy eating and some top tips to help little ones to enjoy a variety of foods.
Children’s appetites vary from day to day. This is normal and can be due to many factors which include teething, tiredness, heat or even distractions. It is important to let children decide how much to eat and keep offering new foods alongside familiar favourites.
Allow children to stop when they are full. It can be tricky to know when young children have had enough, but look for common signs that can indicate this such as; turning away, losing interest, slowing down, taking a long time to chew their mouthful and, of course, pushing the plate away!
Here are few top tips that I have tried and tested over the years to support little ones to enjoy trying new foods:
- Give advanced warning on when their meal is coming and what they are going to have so they know what to expect.
- Stick with the same meal routines, for example eating at set times, washing hands before sitting at the table and helping to lay the table.
- Ensure children are getting enough physical exercise to build up an appetite. Did you know? Children under 5 years should be physically active for at least 180 minutes a day.
- Eat together and all eat the same foods where possible. Children love to copy you!
- Try giving your little one the choice between two similar foods, for example apple or pear. Children will feel they are making their own choice.
- Think about your portion size’s for children and praise them for eating even if they have only had a small amount.
- Make mealtimes fun, engage in conversation and enjoy each other's company.
- Try preparing your meals togther and involving children in the process of preparing the food, and not just the end product.
- Keep offering the new food over time. It may take lots of attemps for children to like a particular food.
At Kindred we are passionate about helping children to develop a love of all foods and a confidence to try new meals. We have therefore thought carefully about the flavours, textures and variety of meals that we offer in our acreditated menus. Find out more about our love for nutition here.