Thank you for your question which will be answered by Dr Emma Haycraft
Thanks for your message. Most children go through a phase of refusing certain foods and eating a limited selection is really common. There are more details about food refusal on the Child Feeding Guide website (http://www.childfeedingguide.co.uk/common-feeding-pitfalls/food-refusal) but, in brief, children need to learn to like new tastes and textures and many choose to stay eating just a limited variety of foods that they have identified as familiar and ‘safe’ to eat. There are various things you can try to increase your child’s diet:
1 – keep offering disliked foods. It can take 10-20 offerings before a child learns to like a food to keep offering these, without any force or pressure for them to try it. Even touching, smelling or licking a food can help children become less wary of them.
2 – be a good role model. Ensure children can see you, and others, eating and enjoying a wide variety of foods.
3 – involve your child in meal planning and preparation. This can be really effective and children will often eat foods they’ve helped to buy or prepare.
4 – read stories / sing songs / do messy play with foods. These non-mealtime activities can help make children more familiar with different foods.
5 – offer praise. If your child tries even a small mouthful of a new food, praise them for this, or offer a small reward (it must not be food) like a sticker if they taste something different.
I hope this helps,
Co-developer of the Child Feeding Guide
Thank you for posting a question to the Riverside Cares Feed Your Children Well Q&A
Visit our Parenting Hub http://www.riversidecares.co.uk/parenting-hub/ for sessions, suggestions, opportunities to learn paediatric first aid life saving skills and our events page http://www.riversidecares.co.uk/events/ for pop ups and know how sessions around London. Riverside Cares trains professional childcarers and supplies at home care and nursery staff to early years settings
Join us on April 20 at Stepney City Farm for a very special morning (info on our events page)