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Fussy Eating Ends At The Dinner Table; How To Stop The Cycle Of Bad Food Choices For Kids
By: Little Fuss Pots
Clinical nutritionist, Beth Bonfiglio said this war over food is being fought across the country every meal time. "So many parents are at their wit's end, stressed and confused, to know what to do about their fussy eater," she said.
"As parents, we know it is our job to provide our children with nutrients and healthy foods that help their brains and body to grow and thrive. Except somewhere along the way, the child refuses to eat a wide range of food except for a few options, which are normally the beige foods with little nutritional value.
"To make life easier, the parent gives in to the fussy eater, setting up a life time of potential ill health and malnutrition. A child needs to have their food preference stretched and giving into to a limited range of foods is not going to do that.
"Giving a child a plate of fries and handfuls of biscuits on the way to bed may solve the problem of sleep but it creates an even bigger problem long term.
"They become dependent on getting what they want, they lose the ability to process information about food. Their immune system is under pressure from a lack of micronutrients, you're faced with more visits to the doctor, dentist, and behaviour is spiralling out of control."
Beth knows. She was the parent of a fussy eater. Her son refused to eat anything green and develop severe SPD (sensory processing disorder).
"I wanted him to eat healthy, but he just refused and the older he got the harder it was to change," she said.
Many parents get to the point where they cross their fingers and hope their child grows out of it, but Beth said by taking this approach, the child is at risk of a new feeding disorder - ARFID (Avoidant, Restrictive, Food Intake Disorder).
Having completed studying clinical nutrition prior to having children, Beth knew feeding her son beige packaged foods was not an option.
"As a clinical nutritionist I wasn't going to wait until my son grew out of it, so did extensive research, worked with some of the world's best sensory experts and together we workshopped new techniques to find the best way for treating fussy eaters," she said.
"I now teach these techniques to parents and carers world-wide along with using them in my own family."
Beth said parents end up going from pillar to post. "That is because most feeding experts don't have a nutritional background and nutritionists don't have a sensory background.
"It's it time to put a stop to mealtime battles for good," she said. "The time to start helping a fussy eater is when the child is younger. They've not had many bad experiences that have created bad neuro pathways. The more exposure a child has to food, the more variety of foods they'll eat."