Our School Nurse, Ollie Reid led our weekly parent/carer Gomer Community Coffee Morning yesterday. Meet Ollie:
Ollie Reid
The focus of the session was providing ideas with supporting children who are fussy eaters. It’s natural for parents to worry about whether their child is getting enough food, especially if they refuse to eat sometimes. The key message was that if children are growing as expected and are eating something they are very likely to grow out of fussy eating in later life. The trick is not to worry about what your child eats in a day, or if they don’t eat everything at mealtimes. It’s more important to think about what they eat over a week. As long as your child is active and gaining weight, and it’s obvious they’re not ill, then they’re getting enough to eat, even if it may not seem like it to you.
Providing your child eats some food from the four main food groups (milk and dairy products, starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, protein), even if it’s always the same favourites, you don’t need to worry. Gradually introduce other foods or go back to the foods your child didn’t like before and try them again. If you feel that you child might have a limited diet, providing a multi-vitamin everyday can alleviate concerns about a child being deficient in a particular vitamin.
Tips for parents of fussy eaters:

  • Give your child the same food as the rest of the family, but remember not to add salt to your child’s food. Check the label of any food product you use to make family meals. See more about food labelling.
  • Eat your meals together if possible.
  • Give small portions and praise your child for eating, even if they only manage a little.
  • If your child rejects the food, don’t force them to eat it. Just take the food away without comment. Try to stay calm even if it’s very frustrating.
  • Don’t leave meals until your child is too hungry or tired to eat.
  • Your child may be a slow eater so be patient.
  • Don’t give too many snacks between meals. Limit them to a milk drink and some fruit slices or a small cracker with a slice of cheese, for example.
  • It’s best not to use food as a reward. Your child may start to think of sweets as nice and vegetables as nasty. Instead, reward them with a trip to the park or promise to play a game with them.
  • Children sometimes get thirst and hunger mixed up. They might say they’re thirsty when really they’re hungry.
  • Make mealtimes enjoyable and not just about eating. Sit down and chat about other things.
  • If you know any other children of the same age who are good eaters, ask them round for tea. A good example can work well, as long as you don’t talk too much about how good the other children are.
  • Children’s tastes change. One day they’ll hate something, but a month later they may love it.
  • Changing the form a food comes in may make it more acceptable. For example, a child might refuse cooked carrots but enjoy raw, grated carrot. These can also be concealed, if grated and added to a food item such as a bolognaise.
12th November 2015
Category: Whole School