Boots guide to handling fussy eaters
Fussy eating and a fear of new foods can affect some children. It's a totally normal part of development, but can be challenging for both you and your little one
Tips for fussy eaters
With persistence and patience, most phases of fussy eating can be overcome. Here are some suggestions on making mealtimes as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, allowing you to introduce a wide range of food into your child's diet from the age of six months.
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Children learn from watching the behaviour of those near to them, so it's a good idea to sit fussy eaters next to adults or other children who enjoy trying different types of food.
Safely sit them in comfort by your side so they get used to the idea of handling and trying new food at the dinner table.
Introduce a wide variety of new tastes and be persistent as it may take time for a baby to finally like a new food.
As well as food prepared at home, non-organic and organic baby foods offer plenty of tasty options for every meal, with lots of naturally delicious flavours to try.
Small portions and seconds
Children can be overwhelmed by big portions, so make eating easier and fun. Serve meals with healthy snacks in between and try blending fruit and vegetables into soups and sauces.
Choose colourful cutlery and plates with pictures of their favourite cartoon characters to make meal times more fun.
Forcing your child to try something they're not ready for is not a good idea. Allow them to be in control of the food they eat, giving them the time to work out what they do and don't like.
During stages of fussy eating, vitamins and minerals can help supplement your little one's diet.
Whether breastfed, formula fed or taking solid foods the HSE recommends supplementing your baby's diet with vitamin D3. Using a suitable Vitamin D3 product for infants, your baby should be given 5 micrograms a day from birth until 12 months old. Please read the pack and any enclosed leaflet carefully before giving your child any supplement.
Other children's vitamins may be of benefit too from one-year onwards. If you are considering giving your child more than one supplement at the same time please talk to a healthcare advisor or pharmacist.