Most children will at some time be a little fussy with food, or reluctant to try new things. Yet this can often be overcome with some encouragement and time. Fussy eating can become a problem, however, if a child will only eat one or two types of food. Not only can this have an effect on growth and development, but it can be frustrating and worrying for parents too. If you are looking for ways to help your fussy eater, this guide gives you some tips.

·         Make it Fun - Encourage your child to try new food by putting a little on their plate and leaving it to them to explore the taste and texture. Have fun by creating nice patterns or shapes using different foods, or faces. Try not to tell your fussy eater that they must try something, instead let them take the lead. Most children are curious enough to have a nibble at anything edible, so let them try in their own time.

·         Compare Unknown Foods to Familiar – If your child is reluctant to try a new food, think of something that it tastes similar to so your child is encouraged to eat it. For example, they might enjoy peas but not like the look of green beans. Telling your fussy eater that the green beans taste similar to peas, but are just a different shape, might be enough for your child to try.

·         Go for the Healthiest Foods – It can be worrying if you are a parent whose child is a fussy eater, as you may wonder whether your child is getting all the nutrients and vitamins they need. One way to help your child is to find more nutrient-rich foods that they will eat. For example, your child might drink cow’s milk, but camel milk is richer in vitamin C and also tastes delicious. This way, you are still giving your child the foods they like, but they are also getting more nutrients than before.

·         Don’t Give Up – As children develop, they might be more willing to eat foods that they wouldn’t have eaten before. Keep offering a selection of foods, even ones that have previously been refused. You could also invite some of their friends who eat well over for dinner. When your child sees their friends eating different foods, they might also want to join in.

·         Have a Healthy Relationship with Food – Children learn from and copy the adults around them. If you have a healthy relationship with food, then your child will also develop healthy eating habits, even if they are a little fussy at times.

If your child is a fussy eater, try not to worry too much. Keep providing healthy foods of different kinds, and let your child eat at their own pace without pressure to ‘eat it all up.’ Unless your child’s growth and development is being affected, fussy eating is just something that you need to be aware of so that you can give your child the help they need to try new foods. If you are concerned about your child’s eating habits, you can also consult your doctor for advice.