In any childcare centre, we see a lot of fussy eaters. Parents from Vic Park and other Perth suburbs often worry about whether it is “normal” for their children to be fussy eaters. Believe it or not, it is considered “normal.” It’s like a rite of passage in which the child is walking on the legs of newly-developing independence.
In other words: no worries.
Child Development and Fussy Eating
Early in their development, children will decide they dislike the taste, texture, shape or colour of what they are putting into their mouths. This is arbitrary and fluid; it changes from day to day. Children will like something one day and dislike it the next. They will eat a lot one day and almost nothing the next.
At this stage of their development, children are exploring their world and trying to assert their independence. While much of the pattern is psychological, there is also a physical element. Children are growing at a fast rate, but it isn’t consistent. Sometimes they need a lot of food to accommodate the process of growth. Sometimes the process isn’t “busy” and they don’t need a lot of food.
The good news for you: your children will usually become less fussy as they get older.
Strategies for Making Meals More Pleasant
The more pleasant and less stressful you can make mealtime, the less your child will tend to be fussy. Keep mealtime happy. Make it a special part of the day. Keep it positive, such as praising your child for trying new food. If they try a little bit of everything, they have done fine.
Sometimes, your child will be acting fussy to get attention. If you fall for the “bait,” you are training your child to be a fussy eater. The best way to handle it is to support your child’s independence while trying to keep the choices healthy.
To learn more, contact your nearest Cuddles Childcare Centre in the Perth area.