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Tips if your child is a fussy eater

It's normal for kids to be a bit fussy about what they eat - but it can also be a bit of a pain! Especially if it means you end up making more than one meal every night.

Why not try these tips from parents all around Scotland to see if making food for dinosaurs will do the trick?

Top tips to try at home

Tip 1: Try a picnic plate!

We've all had times when our kids will only eat one thing. Why not try picnic plates? Offering them a choice of fruit, veg, cheese and meats can help them to try new things. You can find loads of cheap snacks and recipes to tempt your little fuss pot on Parent Club.

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Tip 2: Tell them it's dinosaur food

Try telling them it's special "dinosaur food" or "spaceman food" and make up a little story to go with it. You might find they'll eat it all up to be just like the dinosaurs, space men, or whoever their favourite hero is right now.

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Tip #3: Sneak it into soups

Have you tried making soup at home? It can easily hide a lot of veg. Sneaky, sneaky! Also, thick blended soups keep them fuller for longer.

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Tip #4: Make food into fun shapes

Fancy restaurants charge lots because they make food look pretty, so everyone wants to try it. 

Get your own food trending with your little one by making food into fun shapes, like cutting it into star shapes, or by making funny faces on the plate with the food. You can get them to make their own pictures too. Works a treat!

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Tip #5: Let them pick their vegs

A good way to get them a bit more interested in vegs is to ask them to pick their veg next time you're out shopping together. Include a bite-sized amount of veg with each main meal, so they're happy to try it.

Try not to make a big deal out of it if they don't like it the first time. Sometimes they'll  need a few goes before they realise it's not that bad. Remember how long it took some of US to like brocolli? 

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Tip #6: Get help with the shop

Give the kids a mini-shopping list. Let them pick out the ingredients and cook with you at home.

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Tip #7: Make omelettes

Why not try making an omelette and sneaking some veg in? Just whisk up some eggs with sweet corn, cheese, broccoli and ham, and they'll love it. It's a great way of getting them to eat veg - and it's quick and cheap too. You can cut it up into pizza slices to make it look even yummier.

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Tip #8: Give dishes fun names

Give your dishes fun names like Princess/Prince Pasta or Superhero Soup.

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Tip #9: Get them cooking!

Get your child involved in making the food more! Getting them to help means they're more likely to try it - even if it's just mixing things together, or weighing ingredients.

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Tip #10: Side dishes

Get the kids to try a little of something new by putting it alongside their favourite food.

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Tip #11: Follow the leader

Kids will often copy what you do (enjoy it while it lasts!). If you can, try and eat together - even if it's just once a week. If they see you eating up your vegs, they're more likely to do it too.

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Tip #12: Cartoons are your friends

Look out for your kid's favourite cartoon characters eating foods your kid doesn't like. It must be good if their hero is eating it!

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Tip #13: Play hide the veg

Why not try grating some veg and mix it into the kids meals and they never notice! Sneaky but it works. You can find loads of cheap and easy recipes just waiting for your sneaky vegs here.

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Tip #14: Keep it colourful

Try making meals with bright, colourful veg. Using different colours of peppers might get them to have a try of everything.

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Tip #15: Break out the stickers

Kids love stickers - why not try giving them a star sticker every time they try something new?

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Tip #16: That's "my" salad

Struggling to get them to eat anything green? Try letting your kids prep the veg for dinner - getting them to help make it might make them want to eat it all up!

Check out Parent Club's recipes for simple things they can help you make.


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This article was created as part of

Eat Better Feel Better

Last updated: 6 Jan, 2020