Skip to main content

Tips if your toddler is a fussy eater

Reading time: 0-10 minutes

Explore this article's topics:

Behaviour Food & Eating Mealtimes and fussy eating

Once your baby becomes a toddler and starts eating meals and snacks like the rest of the family, dinnertime can sometimes become a bit of a battle. What do you do when they turn their nose up at everything you put in front of them? It might help to try following the tips and tricks of other parents and professionals who have come before you.

Top tips from other parents with fussy eaters

What the parents say

What the professionals say

“We all have days when we don’t fancy what’s on our plate, and toddlers are no different. Sit down with them, offer small amounts of food, and if they use their fingers and get a bit messy, don’t panic. Remember, fingers were invented before knives and forks! Your toddler will have their moments, but most tots grow well – even those who don’t seem to eat everything. Don’t forget you can always ask for help from your health visitor.”

Margaret Duncan, Sure Start Health Visitor, Dundee

What should I do if I’m worried?

It can be frustrating if your toddler refuses most of the food you put in front of them, and you may start worrying that they’re not getting enough to eat. But it’s important to remember that fussy eating is a really normal part of growing up for toddlers – lots of toddlers are reluctant to try new foods, or will suddenly reject things they’ve been eating perfectly happily before.

Try not to worry about how much they eat in a day – instead try to think about what they eat over a week, and you may well find it’s more than you think. You could even try keeping a food diary, to keep track of what you’ve offered them and what they’ve eaten.

But if you’ve tried every trick in the book and you still don’t feel that your toddler is eating enough, or you’re worried that they’re not getting enough variety in their diet, remember you can always talk to your health visitor or GP. Your food diary will be useful here as it’ll give health visitor or GP a good insight into how much your wee one is eating.

This article was created as part of 

NSH Scotland Logo

Last updated: 18 Apr, 2023