Fussy eating - easy read
food; meals; snacks; water; milk; drinks; tummies; hungry;
It is common for toddlers to be fussy eaters.
Offer your child a variety of healthy foods. Let your child choose which foods and how much they want to eat.
Family time and food
- Children like to share meal times with the family.
- Having a routine at meal times is good for children.
- Keep meal times pleasant, talk to your children.
- Children have small tummies.
- Offer small amounts of food through the day.
- Serve 3 small meals and 2-3 healthy snacks.
For more ideas about what foods to give to children have a look at:
Encourage children to eat but do not force them
- Children will eat healthy foods when hungry.
- If your child refuses healthy foods, it is best not to offer an unhealthy choice such as chips or sweet biscuits.
- It is best not to give children food as a reward, for comfort or to keep them busy.
Trying new foods
- Talk about new foods.
- Offer a new food with one that your child likes.
- You may need to offer new foods 10 times or more, before a child will taste it.
- Stay calm and positive.
- Set a good example and let your child see you enjoying healthy foods.
- Your child may dislike some foods - that's okay.
Tap water and milk are the best drinks for children
- Give childen as much plain water as they want.
- Give reduced fat milk to children over 2 years old.
- Children can fill up on milk; your child needs no more than 500mls of milk a day.
Young children could choke on food.
- Always watch your child while they are eting.
- Children should sit down to eat.
- Children under the age of 4 years can choke on small hard pieces of food.
- Do not give whole nuts, whole grapes, raw carrots, apple, popcorn and lollies.
- Talk with your doctor if you are worried about food allergies.
to get help
- Visit your Child and Family Health nurse - call 1300 733 606.
- Call the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100.
For information in languages other than English, call the Interpreting and Translating Centre and ask them to call The Department of Health. This service is available at no cost to you, contact (08) 8226 1990.
The content of this topic was produced by the
Centre for Health Promotion, Children, Youth and Women's health Service, South Australia.
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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.