QuestionsCategory: Feeding Childrenmy-4-year-old-will-only-eat-sausages-beans-bread-and-oranges-any-suggestions-of-how-i-can-get-him-to-eat-other-things
Alice asked 4 months ago
1 Answers
Gaby Morris Staff answered 4 months ago

Thank you for your question which will be answered by Dr Emma Haycraft
Hi Alice,

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,

Emma

Co-developer of the Child Feeding Guide 
Loughborough University
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