My daughter used to eat loads of different foods but now pushes away or spits out food she used to like. She is almost 2 and now only seems to eat a few foods and not many veg at all. What can we do to get her to eat more foods again?
Thanks for getting in touch. What you have described is really common. Many children go through a fussy eating phase, commonly around 2 years of age. It coincides with them gaining more independence around eating, but it can be concerning for parents and caregivers. The key thing is to try not to worry about this and to keep offering your child an array of foods. She might not eat them every time and, indeed, it can take 10-20 offerings before a child will learn to like the tastes and textures of foods, but do keep offering without any force or pressure. You can learn more about this, and what to do, on the Child Feeding Guide website: http://www.childfeedingguide.co.uk/common-feeding-pitfalls/food-refusal
There are things you can do outside of mealtimes to help your child to become less wary of foods. Take her shopping, play games or sing songs about foods, or get her involved in meal preparation, so that she can see and touch foods. We have more ideas here: http://www.childfeedingguide.co.uk/tips-and-tools/ways-to-increase-fruit-and-vegetable-intake
It might take a little while but don’t give up. This is a typical developmental phase so keep offering foods and keep eating and enjoying an array of healthy foods in front of your little one too.
Dr Emma Haycraft is a senior member of the the child feeding research team and a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University she is a co-creator of the Child Feeding Guide
Jill Wheatcroft is a Lecturer in Child Health and is co-founder and Director of Training at Riverside Cares. She can be contacted at email@example.com://www.riversidecares.co.uk