Children’s health

Fussy eating – when is it a concern?

21 June 2022

Fussy eating can lead to stressful and prolonged mealtimes, delayed oro-motor skills, and poor health outcomes including nutrient deficiencies (eg iron), slow growth and constipation.

Early intervention is required when fussy eating is caused by sensory sensitivities with food textures, or when it leads to highly restricted diets (less than 15 to 20 different foods) or

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 challenging behaviours at mealtimes.

Mealtime Strategies

1) Set up routines – serve food at the same time and in the same place each day.

2) Create an engaging mealtime environment – remove distractions (eg screens, toys) and share meals together as a family to model positive mealtime behaviours like trying new foods.

3) Encourage food exploration and play – participate together in food preparation and play games with food like sorting by colour or texture, or building houses.

Start Them Right: A parent’s guide to eating for under 5s 

Is your child a fussy eater? Parent handout



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