expose them to different types of food and allow them to grow more comfortable with the different textures and colors that may be putting them off.
3. Avoid stress
“For parents with a fussy eater, mealtimes can be especially stressful — juggling the family meal and a picky eater is no small feat,” Chilman adds.
Researcher Ann Kennedy-Behr, a senior lecturer at the University of South Australia, says that stress can contribute to fussy eating.
“When you have a child who is a picky eater, it’s very stressful for a parent or [caregiver] — they’re forever questioning whether their child is getting enough nutrients, enough food, and often enough weight gain,” she says in a University of South Australia news release.
It’s important to understand that being overly anxious or worried can actually contribute to increased picky eating, Kennedy-Behr adds.
4. Keep negativity out
“Avoiding getting cross and limiting any negativity around mealtime will benefit everyone. Positive parenting, no matter how difficult it can be in certain situations, is the best step forward for fussy eaters,” according to Kenned-Behr.
The researchers offer these tips to help a fussy eater:
- Set a good example: Eat together as a family.
- Have regular mealtimes. This reduces levels of stress.
- Get kids involved in making meals. Familiarity and a sense of control can help.
- Turn the TV off. Focus on food.
- Keep mealtimes calm and stress-free. It will be a better experience for all.
- Don’t reward, bribe or punish fussy eaters.