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Is Your Child A Fussy Eater?

Dont worry!

Children's eating habits vary greatly so do not worry if your child refuses to eat a balanced diet on a daily basis. If your child is well and happy and growing normally there is no need for concern. 

A young child may begin to assert their independence at the dinner table by refusing food. This is a common developmental stage and should pass.

However, if you continue to be concerned about your child's erratic eating habits, contact your dietitian, public health nurse or GP.

Top tips for fussy eaters!

1. Try to create a relaxed atmosphere at meal times.

2. Provide small, easy to handle portions and offer seconds; too much food on a plate may look unappetising.

3. Introduce new foods along with a food you know your child likes; if the new food is refused try again a few weeks later. 

4. Make food look interesting, different colours and shapes appeal to children so combine a variety of colourful foods e.g. carrots, sweetcorn, potato and stew.

5. Offer finger foods to younger children to allow them to feed themselves e.g. a stick of raw carrot, sliced apple, a cheese triangle or finger of toast. 





6. Involve your child in food preparation, shopping and washing up. 

7. In general, try to buy only the foods you want your child to eat.

8. Don’t worry if a child eats erratically. 

9. Never force your child to clear his/her plate or eat foods he/she does not like. 

10. Don’t use one food as a reward for eating another. 

11. Don’t give chopped or whole nuts to children under five because of the risk of choking. In families with a history of allergies (asthma, hay fever, eczema) additional advice regarding the introduction of nuts may be necessary. Consult your GP for advice

The content in this section is taken and/or adapted from accredited and reputable sources for nutritional and health information such as the HSE, INDI, SafeFood and FSAI