It’s natural to worry about whether your little one is eating enough of the right things, especially if they start refusing foods some days, and showing signs of food fads and fussy eating. It’s a common tale and it’s quite normal for toddlers to refuse to eat or even taste new foods.
If they’re otherwise well, active and growing, and eating something from the four main food groups, even if it is often the same thing, then try not to be too concerned.
Try a food diary
It’s often reassuring to keep a food diary for a week just to see what they are actually eating.
Day to day there may be some fluctuation, but try to look at the whole picture over a week.
If their growth starts to become affected by severe food fussiness though, or if they’re not as active as usual, talk to your health visitor or GP.
- Encourage your child to try lots of different foods; unless you need to for medical or cultural reasons, don’t exclude particular food or drinks.
- Give lots of praise for eating, even if it’s just a little.
- If your little one is a slow eater try to be patient and leave plenty of time for meals.
Children’s tastes change, think back yourself about foods you didn’t like as a child but enjoy eating now.
Keep offering new foods and make sure you give them plenty of praise when they do try something new!
Just don’t give up - remember, it can take up to 10 - 15 tries. Keep trying!
For curious toddlers, having fun with fruit and vegetables allows them to explore food away from mealtimes.
Lucy Thomas, founder of Mange Tout and mum to Molly & Isla-Rose, has helped thousands of fussy eaters discover the fun in food, and her methods have been recommended by experts from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Here's some of her top tips: