Fix for fussy eaters gains world­wide fol­low­ing

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

A HELENA Val­ley nu­tri­tion­ist is gain­ing a world­wide fol­low­ing for her work help­ing par­ents put an end to meal­time wars with their fussy eaters.

Beth Bon­figlio is a fi­nal­ist in the Aus­mumpreneur Awards for Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence and will travel to Mel­bourne next week for the fi­nal stage of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ms Bon­figlio, de­vel­oper of the Lit­tle Fusspots pro­gram, said meals could be a bat­tle ground for par­ents, filled with guilt, frus­tra­tion and tears as they tried to get their fussy eater to eat more than fish fin­gers and chips.

“So many par­ents are at their wits’ end, stressed and con­fused about what to do,” she said.

“Par­ents know it is our job to pro­vide our chil­dren with healthy foods ex­cept some­where along the way the child re­fuses to eat a 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 life­time of po­ten­tial ill health and mal­nu­tri­tion.”

Ms Bon­figlio said chil­dren needed to have their food pref­er­ences stretched.

“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,” she said.

“They be­come de­pen­dent on get­ting what they want and their im­mune sys­tem is un­der pres­sure from a lack of mi­cronu­tri­ents, so you’re faced with more vis­its to the doc­tor and den­tist.”

Ms Bon­figlio knows all about be­ing the par­ent of a fussy eater. She said her son re­fused to eat any­thing green and de­vel­oped se­vere Sen­sory Pro­cess­ing Dis­or­der (SPD).

“He just re­fused and the older he got the harder it was to change,” she said.

She said many par­ents get to the point where they cross their fin­gers and hope their child grows out of it, but she said this put kids at risk of a new feed­ing dis­or­der – Avoidant, Re­stric­tive, Food In­take Dis­or­der.

“As a clin­i­cal nu­tri­tion­ist I wasn't go­ing to wait un­til my son grew out of it, so I 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 says.

“I now teach these tech­niques to par­ents and car­ers world­wide.

“The time to start help­ing a fussy eater is when the child is younger be­cause they haven’t had too many bad ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis d486118

Nu­tri­tion­ist Beth Bon­figlio with her son Ry­der, who was at one time a fussy eater.

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