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Fussy Eating in Children


Fussy, restricted or selective eating is a phase that many children go through and it can be a very frustrating and worrying time for parents and carers. While there is limited research on why some children become restricted eaters, the consensus among professionals is that the treatment is to continue to expose your children to the food you would eventually like them to eat.

Some children with sensory difficulties or conditions such as Autism will also have restricted eating.

Children with fussy or restricted eating may:

  • Eat foods from the different food groups but their choice within the different food groups is limited. For example, they may eat chips and pasta but refuse rice, potatoes and bread.
  • Totally exclude a food group such as refusing fruit and/or vegetables
  • Prefer to eat ‘beige’ coloured foods such as bread, biscuits, chicken nuggets
  • Dislike wet textured food such as Bolognese sauce
  • Prefer to eat cold, snack-type foods and refuse hot meals
  • Eat a meal with a grandparent but refuse to eat the same meal at home
  • Only eat certain brands or from familiar packaging

Ask for a GP appointment if:

  • Your child’s weight or growth is a concern
  • Your child’s diet is restricted to 10 foods or less
  • You suspect your child is iron deficient
  • Your child is chronically constipated
  • You suspect a food allergy