Toddlers and older children often go through phases of fussy-eating - but parents don't need to make a meal of things
Don't let meal times become a battle ground with our tips on dealing with fussy eaters
Things don't change. Each new generation of mums gets anxious if she thinks her child isn't getting enough to eat.
A new survey from Abbott Nutrition confirms this.
It shows the significant icountry, including the stress it places on parents and its effects on family life.
Almost half of parents worry about the impact of fussy eating habits on their child's wellbeing and six out of 10 younger parents are extremely worried about their child's nutrition.
Nearly half said their child's behaviour had created tension with their partners and had turned mealtimes into a battleground.
Do you recognize any of this in your family? What a sad state of affairs we've reached.
The fact is, fussy eating is common in young children, with up to a third of two year olds going through this stage but they usually grow out of it and come to no harm. Fussy eating can take the form of refusing to eat, a lack of interest in food, eating particularly slowly and reduced appetite.
I've always said you must look at what your child eats over a week rather than just a day or at each meal to keep a sense of perspective. What a child eats is more important than when a child eats.
But what can a worried parent do?
Some parents in the same position have offered helpful strategies. They recommend to never let mealtimes become battlefields. And if your child doesn't want to eat something then calmly take it away and try again at the next meal. Here are some more tips.
Simple choices - only offer your child two choices of meal before you cook.
Be calm - your child won't starve if they skip a meal.
Don't hover - mealtimes shouldn't be all about them. Talk about anything but food.
Keep mealtimes short and as happy as possible. Don't make your child sit for an hour. It's bad for everyone. Clear up and move on.
Don't force or cajole or your child will come to associate food with stress and trauma, so will never eat.
Try eating together. Your child will learn to eat a range of food from you. Get your child cooking. They'll be more ready to eat what they've cooked themselves.
It's daunting for a child to be faced with a piled plate. Remember a child's stomach is the size of their clenched fist so adjust portion size to that.
Give points for trying even a tiny piece of a new food. Add up the points for a prize.
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