How do I manage a fussy eater? (18 to 30 months) 

Health visitor Sara Patience talks about what you can do if your child is a fussy eater.

Find out more about coping with fussy eaters

Transcript of How do I manage a fussy eater? (18 to 30 months)

How do I manage a fussy eater?   Sara: �Fussy eating can be a common problem. It's natural that parents worry that their children aren't getting enough to eat. Many parents have developed strategies that can help.   Parents: �I think it is a bit of a day-by-day process because there's... I know the one thing that she always loves is her blueberries. But it's almost dependant on her mood.   You just have to roll with it. They sometimes don't know how to express how they're feeling and we just try to interpret. So just like an adult, we sometimes like something, sometimes don't.   It can be a little concerning, but overall she's happy and healthy, so you know it must be close enough to the right thing. Yes, it is challenging sometimes, because it's very tempting to say, "Well, we'll give him that regularly." But then what happens is they get tired of that.   It's important that you change tastes. It can be quite frustrating, because one week, he loves that stuff. Next week, he doesn't want to smell it. It can be quite frustrating. I mean, I'm the one who cooks mainly, so some days, it gets on my nerves. But you learn with it. You learn to be more relaxed.  If one day he doesn't eat that much, well, that's fine.   I think food should be there, I guess, for nutritional purposes and not to be used as a disciplinary or a reward system. So as she gets older, she's going to know that she sits down for food and if she wants rewards, then she'll get cuddles or she'll play with a toy or do something that's more constructive.   Yes, I agree with that. It's hard sometimes because you have to re-educate the grandparents. Yes, that's true.   Didn't your grandfather used to give you..?   My grandfather was terrible.   That's a certain!   I used to have Coco Pops with sugar!   - With sugar? - Exactly!   I think with Sahara, she's definitely sort of developed and changed her tastes as she's gotten older. I wanted until six months before introducing solids and she would sit with us, so she was part of our, sort of, meal times.   Yes, we do that, too. So she would see us eating, we'd have our normal meal, and she'd basically share exactly the same.   He's allowed to play with food. My parents thought it was a bit disgusting. They put stuff in their mouth and then spit it out. And you're going, "What are you doing?"   But I think that's how they learn to like food. Yes, I know, I think it's really important to make sure that she enjoys meal times. And I let her just go to town with her meals, because I think that's really important for her, not just to learn, but also to know that it's fun and it's enjoyable to have all sorts of different textures and colours on her plate.�   Sara: �Some great advice there from parents who have children who are fussy eaters. My top tip is make meal times enjoyable and trust your child that they know when they're full up.�      

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