Fussy eating is part of normal childhood development: Top tips for parents

Disclosure Statement: Durand Financial Services Pty Ltd and its advisers are authorised representatives of Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306. General Advice Warning: The information contained within this website does not consider your personal circumstances and is of a general nature only. You should not act on it without first obtaining professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.

While fussy eating is part of normal childhood development, there are some suggestions parents can try to ensure it does not become a habit.


  • Introduce textured and finger foods to children when they start eating solids like bite-size pieces of soft fruit and vegetables. Or skip pureed food altogether. Omitting or quickly moving on from it will help a child’s development.


  • Introduce your child to a good variety of flavours, and don’t combine flavours. Avoid making savoury, spicy or aromatic food more appealing by adding sweetness because then a child will prefer sweet flavours.
  • Ensure your child is eating similar flavours to the rest of the family.


  • Never force your child to eat food they reject. The “just take one more bite” approach can lead to food aversion.
  • Don’t describe food as “healthy/unhealthy” or “good/bad” or use food as a reward. Saying: “if you eat your vegetables you can have dessert” demonises one food while it puts another food on a pedestal.


  • Regularly introduce your child to new foods, flavours and textures. Even if they refuse to eat their portion, they might eventually decide to try those new foods.


  • Never assume your child will grow out of fussy eating. If it’s clearly a problem as soon as they start solid foods, consult a professional to assess for sensory or swallowing issues.

SOURCE: Dr Jennifer Cohen from the University of NSW


Maureen Dettre
(Australian Associated Press)


Like This