How Do You Deal With Fussy Eaters?

by | Sep 29, 2014

Most children are fussy eaters at some point in their lives. Both my girls ate really well until they turned three years. Suddenly, they were conscious of the ‘bits’ and would often pick the offending items out of their food.

I never stopped adding theses ‘bits’ to their food and eventually they got over this phase (well, middle daughter still has her moments) and they are generally open to trying most things. They knew that the food I put in front of them was what I expected them to eat. I wasn’t going to pander to their needs and the rule in our house is that you have to eat what you are given, or at least give it your best shot. There is nothing else waiting for you in the side lines if you don’t.

Child number three, the boy, threw a spanner in the works completely and gave fussy eating new meaning. He could pick out a whole pea from his mouth, despite our attempts to disguise it in a mouthful of shepherd’s pie. He could literally throw up his whole dinner if that ‘one more mouthful’ had something in it that he didn’t care for.
We went on to find out he had a dairy and wheat intolerance, so it is no surprise that food made him ill and perhaps explained his sensitivity to different tastes. He is five now and with his food intolerances under control; he is much more receptive to trying new tastes.

However, we still have issues with ‘bits’ and also with peas (and sweetcorn, for that matter). You know how kids work their way around the plate eating each component fully before moving on to the next? I frequently explain that if you eat a mouthful of food that contains a variety of what is on your plate, you won’t really notice the individual ingredients. But as yet, he is not convinced.

I made risotto the other day – one of my favourites. It contained butternut squash, peas and salmon. My son was having a picky day and spent so long at the table that he ended up sitting there on his own after the rest of us had finished and moved on. This is what I found when I eventually told him to give it up as a bad job (it was bedtime by then). I think we can safely say that he likes salmon!

Ike's Dinner


  1. journeyofmythoughts

    He left rice in a Risotto? 🙂 what did he eat then?
    It must be really tough to talk your kid into eating. Good luck hey 🙂

    • Nicola Young

      Exactly! All he ate was the salmon.

  2. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Aww bless I love that last shot! It is clear which bits he likes!! Monkey became a fussy eater at 13 mths old, and like you, we don’t pander to it and the rule is you eat what’s there, or you don’t eat. He is better now than he used to be, but still so fussy with so many foods! Can be so frustrating cant it? Xx #sharewithme

    • Nicola Young

      Very! Especially when they sit at the table for an hour and don’t get anywhere. It is amazing how much quicker they can eat cake!

  3. Jenny

    It’s hard when they won’t eat what’s put in front of them. I always make various meals and whatever I lay before then let them decide what they eat and like. But that’s dinner and that’s what they get I am not going to make a separate or extra dinner for them in place of it. I love that he loves salmon. My two are so different Buba is obsessed with broccoli and green veggies whereas MM is more of a carrots and califlower girl. Kids are funny what they don’t and do like. I always offer things three or four times throughout the month to see if they will eventually try and like it. I have been trying to get my two to like tomatoes forever. Don’t think it’s going to happen. lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme

  4. tonyasmithauthor

    I wouldn’t give them anything special unless they have a medical reason to do differently. You are just setting yourself up for letting them run the household by giving in to them all the time. I say let them eat what you make – otherwise – then don’t eat. They’ll eat if they are hungry enough.

    • Nicola Young

      That’s true. I was stricter with my girls, but they are not intolerant to wheat and dairy like he is. Food make him sick, so his early association was to think of food as something that would make him feel ill. Luckily, now that we have it under control, he is willing to try more things. Some days are better than others, though!


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