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Top tips to avoid fussy eating



Allow enough time – toddlers can take about 20 minutes to eat one course or a snack, rushing them reduces their appetite.

Let children decide how much they eat – babies and young naturally regulate their calorie intake. This regulation is not daily but over a number of days. Offer a range of foods across each day, they will eat what they need.

Don’t take away a meal they won’t eat and then offer a different one – children will take advantage this, accept that your child will have preferences. Always try to offer one food at each meal that they will like.

Never offer a sweet course as a reward or deny as a punishment – by association children will think the main course is bad and the dessert good.

Don’t use snacks after a meal to top up poor eating -this reduces appetite and interferes with a good eating pattern. Young children need three meals and three snacks each day. If the last meal in the day is early, offer a snack between then and bed-time.

Don’t assume that if they refuse a food they will never eat it again – Tastes change and some toddlers need to be offered a food more than ten times before they will to try it.

Spend less time preparing meals – otherwise you will only get upset if it is rejected and your toddler will recognise a new power of taking control. Adopt an ‘I’m not bothered attitude’. You can’t win a food battle so don’t start one.

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