What to Avoid with a Fussy Toddler!

Fussy eating in toddlers can be one of the most difficult things a parent has to face! But all hope is not lost – there are steps to take which can make life easier. Following our tips on what steps to take with a fussy toddler, the Infant & Toddler Forum is here to help, with advice on what to avoid with a fussy toddler.

First of all, it’s key to remember that this is a normal stage of a toddler’s development. Secondly, don’t forget that some children are fussier than others (even in the same family). You may have tried to introduce all the right foods in infancy, but your little one still refuses everything but their favourite foods! This type of fussiness is genetically determined and is not due to anything that you have or haven’t done. Children like this are more likely to be reactive to any sensory input – messy hands and feet, having their teeth cleaned, odd noises, funny smells. So, they like to stick to any foods that have the same smell, taste and appearance.

What should I avoid doing with a fussy toddler?

Even though this is a normal stage, there are some things you can avoid to make things easier! Here are our top tips.

Top Five Things to Avoid with a Fussy Toddler

  • Don’t Panic! If you stay calm your neophobic (a normal stage of development when children refuse any new food on sight, normally from around 2 years of age) toddler will usually become a better eater with time. And most fussy eaters seem to stay surprisingly healthy on a limited diet
  • Don’t force feed, get cross or argue with your partner! All of these, although understandable, increase anxiety at mealtimes. Your child will then be even less likely eat the things you want them to
  • Don’t withhold liked food until they haven’t eaten what you want them to eat – it doesn’t work and they may not eat anything at all!
  • Don’t bribe and reward at mealtimes – ‘eat up your vegetable and then you can have some pudding’ makes them like the pudding more! ‘Finish what you have on your plate and you can….’ teaches them to eat more than they need. And for very fussy eaters there is no reward big enough that will make them eat cabbage!
  • Don’t put disliked foods next to liked foods. Even children as young as 2 years will find the foods that they don’t like disgusting. If you put a disliked food next to a liked food then the disgust contamination can only go one way! Anything touched will be refused.

If you’ve found these helpful, why not share with your friends? And be sure to check out our first blog, with top five things to do with a fussy toddler!

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Further Reading

  • Vegetarian and vegan diets have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more parents raising their children on a plant-based diet. Toddlers have high-energy needs and small stomachs, so it is important parents know how to ensure their child gets all the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with practical tips and advice for parents considering a vegetarian or vegan diet for their toddler.
  • Encouraging toddlers to keep physically active will help them to develop movement skills, stay a healthy weight and keep a healthy heart. No matter the weather, we have fun activities which will keep your toddler active and entertained this Easter!
  • Pregnant women are given lots of advice surrounding healthy eating and lifestyle, but this is often based on old or outdated information. There are so many myths and misconceptions floating around that it can be difficult for mums-to-be to tell fact from fiction. Here are our tips and guidance, so you can feel confident about having a healthy pregnancy.