A close up of a sign

Things not to say to the parent of a fussy eater

July 8, 2015

Tigger has been a fussy eater for as long as I can remember. In fact it all started after he contracted chicken pox and ended up in hospital with complications. After which we had to try to re-wean him however he was reluctant to eat many of foods he once enjoyed with him adopting a plain diet.

Over the years I have listened to much ‘advice’ when it comes to dealing with fussy eating and I’ve come up with a list of things not to say to the parent of a fussy eater…

They’ll grow out of it

Yes, the majority of children go through a fussy stage and they will grow out of it however as a parent who is three years into fussy eating I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

They’ll eat when they are hungry

Partly true however having tried the this is all there is if you don’t eat it you’ll get nothing else with Tigger he would rather go hungry than eat something he doesn’t like/want. We have even been through the filling himself up on milk over night as he wasn’t eating during the day.

They wouldn’t be allowed to be fussy in my house

Well if you think that you can do any better than me by all means come round at meal times and see if you can get him to eat

Get them involved in food preparation

Whilst I agree that children should take part in food preparation not only to see what goes into their food, how it is made but for them to learn life skills. However Tigger loves to get involved in baking or preparing food – he still won’t eat it though.

A plate with a fork and knife

Make food fun

I’ve tried different types of plates, cutting the food into cute shapes and arranging the food on the plate in a fun way – he won’t eat food if I’ve played around with it so it doesn’t work for every child.

Don’t pander to their fussiness

Believe me when I say I have tried force feeding, giving limited choices, only giving Tigger what the rest of us are having, the ‘you’re not getting down until you’ve eaten’ and simply taking his plate away when he says he doesn’t want whatever it is I have put in front of him. All have not worked, one or both of us end up in tears and Tigger then flat-out refuses to eat anything.

The life of a parent is hard enough as it is so why do we want to make it harder by telling other parents that we think we can do a better job than them? Living with a fussy eater can really push you to the edge and I for one can do without comments like ones above.

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