Home >> Health and Nutrition >> How to please fussy eaters

How to please fussy eaters

Children need a variety of foods to get the energy they need to grow up healthy.
Even the most nutritious meal won't do any good if a child won't eat it.
Some children are picky eaters. Others eat only certain foods—or refuse food— as
a way to assert themselves.
Below are creative ways to serve up breakfast and lunch; in addition to tips to
overcome problems at meal times!
Off to a good start ... Breakfast!
Breakfast gives children energy to carry through an active morning. Children who skip breakfast may not
concentrate well in school or may lack energy to play. They also tend to eat unhealthy foods as snacks.
Cereal with low-fat milk is a favorite, but sweetened cereal can have a lot of added sugar. Check the Nutrition
facts label before buying.
Choose cereals with less than 10 grams of sugar and at least 2 grams of fiber per serving. If your child
prefers a sweet taste, jazz up unsweetened cereal with sliced peaches, bananas, strawberries or blueberries.
For children who don't like traditional breakfast foods like cereal or toast, try one of the following recipes:
  • Breakfast Shake: Combine milk, fruit, and ice in a blender.
  • Frozen banana: Dip a banana in yogurt then roll it in crushed cereal. Freeze.
  • Peanut butter snack: Spread peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, a tortilla or apple slices.
Lunches worth munchin'
Children who help make their own lunches are more likely to eat them.
Following are ideas to make lunches fun!
Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun, interesting shapes.
Decorate lunch bags with colorful stickers.
Put a new twist on a sandwich favorite. Top peanut butter with raisins,
bananas, or apple slices.
For colour and crunch, use a variety of veggies as sandwich toppers:
cucumber slices, grated carrots, or zucchini.

Try these ideas to make your family meals pleasant
If your child refuses one food from a food group, try another from the same food group.
  • Try deep-yellow or orange vegetables instead of green vegetables.
  • Try chicken, turkey or fish instead of lean beef.
  • Try low-fat flavored milk, cheese, or yogurt instead of low-fat milk.
  • Boost the nutritional value of prepared dishes with extra ingredients. Add non-fat dry milk to cream soups,
  • milk shakes, and puddings. Mix grated zucchini and carrots into quick breads, muffins, meat loaf, lasagna and
  • soups.
  • Serve a food your child enjoys along with a food that he or she has refused to eat in the past.
  • Try serving a food again if it was refused before. It may take many tries before a child likes it.
  • Invite children to help with food preparation. It can make eating food more fun.
  • Add eye appeal. Cut foods into interesting shapes. Create a smiling face on top of a casserole with cheese,
  • vegetables, or fruit strips.
  • Set a good example by eating well yourself. Ideally, eat at least one meal together as a family every day or try for 3 to 4 times per week.
This article done for Better mommies by: Raya M. AbuYounis
Registered Clinical Nutritionist (King's College London -UK)
MSc International Health Management (Imperial College London -UK)