My child won’t eat or is a picky eater
It’s very common for young children to only eat very limited diets and still thrive, but sometimes older children continue to be very selective about the food they will eat. The dinner table can become a battleground as parents cajole and threaten. As long as your child appears healthy and is growing, there is usually no need to worry but it may be worth checking your child’s growth with your GP. If your child is losing weight, vomiting, has a lot of tummy pains or diarrhoea or anything else you’re worried about, then you should see your GP for a check-up. If you are worried that your child is restricting their intake on purpose and may be developing an eating disorder, please look at the eating disorders section.
- Five tips for helping your kids to eat healthily all year round by dietician Priya New in an article on BBC Bitesize.
- Fussy eating advice for toddlers is just as relevant for school-age children. Remember that things that can reduce appetite include fizzy drinks, drinking too much milk, too frequent snacks and constipation.
- Getting kids cooking Some ideas for fun and easy ways of getting kids involved in the kitchen and encouraging them to try new things. Shopping for food together can help too.
- Unhelpful things parents say that often make things worse at the dinner table.…We’ve all been there! From an article in The Guardian (2013)
- How many calories do children need?
- I’m worried my child is becoming overweight For common sense advice look at this NHS page. Your GP can check your child’s height and weight for you. If you don’t want your child to feel self-conscious about their weight you can ask to speak to the GP first so you can explain what the appointment is for and make it part of a general health check. Many areas have free fun fitness schemes for children who are overweight and your GP will be able to tell you about these if needed.