Food refusal

Colourful roast pork with roasted carrots, squash and parsnips (all roasted whole), turnip (swede), sprouts & mashed potato. It’s the season for big family meals and a roast is a great opportunity to get in lots of yummy veggies. This is one from the weekend.

If you’re watching your weight avoid adding fats & sauces to your veggies and then a roast can be a really healthy meal.

Are you struggling with food refusal? I like the approach of ‘love it, like it and learning it’. My girls aren’t very keen on potatoes at the moment but I keep offering in different forms (learning it food). They loved the pork & roasted veggies (love it foods), and ate some of the sprouts & turnip (like it).

On some days I’ll offer something that they love but they don’t eat much. As a parent it’s important to remember that appetite varies from day to day and even meal to meal. It’s not that you’re doing it wrong!

Appetite is dependent upon so many factors including activity, amounts eaten at other meals, energy containing drinks consumption (including milk) and growth spurts.

The parent’s role is to provide a healthy appetising diet comprising of regular meals three times a day and a couple of snacks in a suitable environment. By this I mean switch off distractions such as the TV and sit at the table together.

Children eat better if you’re eating too so if you like to eat with your partner later in the evening have a small portion with the children and a small portion later. There’s breakfast and lunch that you can also be a healthy role model at.

It can be tempting to try and get other things done whilst your wee ones are sitting for food, but if possible try to avoid this temptation as the social interaction opportunity that mealtimes provide is very important for their development as well as for their nutritional intake.

Try to avoid grazing and filling up on sugary drinks, including fruit juice, or milk.

I’ll try and put more tips up over the next few weeks 😀

Please note this is general information and every child is different. If you have concerns about your child, especially if they’re not growing or will eat only a very small number of foods then speak to a health professional e.g. your child’s Health Visitor.
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2 comments: On Food refusal

  • A reassuring post to read – with my two at nearly 3yo I still struggle some days with rationalising their appetite especially when teatime can feel like a battle of wills rather than the pleasurable family experience it’s meant to be!

    • I’m glad you found it useful
      It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure at mealtimes and like you say this can make it a stressful experience. Most children are very good at regulating their intake when they’re young, it’s something we grow out of as we start to respond to social norms! Energy from drinks on the other hand is a different story – another reason to avoid sugary drinks and excessive milk intake.
      Happy Christmas

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