Parental advice for kids who are picky eaters
DOES your child barely eat at dinner time? Do they often come home from school with their lunch barely touched?
Some children are inconsistent, eating all their meals one day and then not much the next day.
For others it’s a more common occurrence.
You might be concerned that as a result of their lack of appetite your child seems underweight, and that there could be long-term health issues.
So let’s look at what you can do about it as a parent.
Appetites do change from day to day.
It can be frustrating when what your child wants to eat and how much they want to eat changes day-to-day.
One day they may eat a plate of celery and carrots, but a couple days later they hate it or only take a couple of bites, then a week later they’re back to eating a full plate.
This is absolutely normal, especially for younger children whose appetites change day-to-day.
Sometimes other factors to do with their emotions and other issues in their life will be causing the issue.
If your child tends to eat big at certain meals, but doesn’t eat well at others, try not to worry too much because it should balance out.
The most important thing you can do is ensure what they do eat is healthy. Consistency is important. Your child has a ‘tummy clock’ that will familiarise itself with eating time.
So if your family ate at 6pm one day, your child’s tummy will kick in the next day at a similar time.
If you change meal times regularly, then you may find your child refuses to eat, but does get hungry later on. This can be quite disruptive to bedtime!
If there are serious concerns about your child being underweight or you’re worried that there might be other underlying health or development issues involved, please contact a member of the WBHHS child health team.