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Avoiding meal dramas

Food and meal times can be a battle of wits for many parents with fussy children. I grew up loving food, never afraid to try new foods, textures and flavours. As a young child, I watched the TV cooking programmes, wanting to try the cooked dishes. Food is an adventure, although for many parents, getting a child sitting at the table, or trying new food can be a stressful event. Are you facing meal dramas?

Fussy eaters


The NHS is clear in recommending that even the pickiest children are likely to meet or exceed their recommended energy and dietary intake for their age. The trick is not to worry about what your child eats in a day or if they don't eat everything at mealtimes. It's more helpful to think about what they eat over a week. If your child is active and gaining weight, and they seem well, then they're getting enough to eat.

The scary stuff

However, healthy eating will include sugar as it surrounds our diets. We all live with sugar; research suggests that the average school child consumes in a year 400 biscuits, 120 cakes/buns/pastries and 150 juice drinks (incl. fizzy cans). A can of cola contains 35g of sugar, equivalent to 7 teaspoons. That’s scary.

Tips from the food experts

Sitting down at mealtime should be a time for relaxation for parents given all the stress of work and bringing up a family. Here are simple tips to help change the behaviour of fussy eaters.

  1. Don’t get angry, as this will encourage your them to fuss over food.
  2. Reward them for trying new foods, even if it is only one bite.
  3. Healthy food swaps, as there are so many alternative healthy foods to replace an oven chip.
  4. Cook together as you child will gain confidence in prepping the meal, by experiencing the different ingredients.
  5. Invite good-eating friends over for a meal to encourage your children to see good eaters.
  6. Hide vegetables by blending them into a sauce.
  7. Don’t fixate on foods, as children often try a new food 10 times before they like it.
  8. Serve known foods with the new unknown foods.
  9. Don’t add extra pressure as children pass through phases.
  10. Eat together and be positive about the food on the table.

I remember that my youngest brother was a serial fussy eater, which my mother ignored, although she found frustrating. When he went to primary school, we expected the worst regarding eating school dinners. By day two, he declared that he enjoyed school dinners and within 6 months he was classed as one of the “good eaters.” This demonstrates that kids change their eating habits without parents needing to intervene.

Insurance is a way to deal with a change, such as not being able to work while caring for a sick child. ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave. Premiums start from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75. Get a quote with 5 questions which takes one minute.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.

Important: If you feel that your child has an eating issue, please seek professional advice.



Date: 19 March 2018 by Max Robinson