kids

"I have fussy eaters. So here are 5 things I've found that actually help."

Caruso's Natural Health
Thanks to our brand partner, Caruso's Natural Health

When I became a parent, I was totally unprepared for this battle. 

The battle of the fussy eater. 

So when my then-toddler started to refuse her veggies, I thought, “okay, this is normal, right?” But then the phase started to grow, and eventually the list of 'no-go foods' grew so large, it seemed that toast, noodles and plain rice were the only foods being consumed. 

At one stage my daughter even refused to eat foods like pizza, chicken nuggets and even hot chips. What kid doesn’t like pizza and hot chips?

Mine, as it turns out. What chance did I have to convince her to eat her veggies if she wasn't even willing to eat pizza?

Offering my kids a balanced diet is important to me. The early years is a time of rapid growth and development, and it’s crucial that we support that growth with a balanced diet. 

The only problem is that a variety of food groups offer a range of different nutrients, and when certain groups are lacking, so are those nutrients. 

Since I started my Instagram account documenting the meals I prepare for my kids, I embarked on a fussy eater journey; trying to navigate the best way around feeding a very fussy toddler. And it turns out I’m not alone on this battlefield. 

In fact, this army of 'fussy eater soldiers' (so, basically all of us parents) seems to be a growing trend: 'fussy eaters' is the number one topic I hear from my audience of 14,000 other parents. 

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So I know that trying to get your kids to eat a balanced diet isn’t always easy, which is why it’s important to have a raft of different tools in your toolkit to bridge that gap.

In order to build that toolkit, though, you need tried and tested strategies that actually work. I recently put a poll up on my Instagram page to find the best tips to feed fussy eaters.

Here are the top 5 things we all swear by:

1. Make food fun!

We love making our meals fun and this definitely seems to help my kids get interested in their food and, thankfully, eat more! My top tips here include: 

  • Use cute food utensils or sticks to serve their food.
  • Cut food into shapes or characters with cookie cutters or stencils.
  • Serve up a variety of bright foods to get your kids interested and experimenting.
  • Give your food cute names to encourage your kids to eat: my favourites are 'rainbow noodles' (veggie pasta), 'fairy grass' (broccoli) or 'magic fruit' (kiwi fruit). This gets my kids every single time.

My motto is if I try and make it more fun, they will (read: might) actually eat it. 


2. Try adding a multivitamin to your routine. 

It seems many other parents also see the benefits of giving their kids a daily multivitamin as a way to fill key nutritional gaps. 

A good multivitamin can play an important role in ensuring fussy eaters have sufficent energy for physical and metabolic activity, which can really put the conscious parent's mind at ease. 

On days when my kids have their fussy-dial turned up, at least I know they’re still getting the nutrients they need from a natural vitamin given alongside their meal. 

I have discovered a great range of children’s nutritional support products from Caruso Natural Health, which can help bridge the gap. They have no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours. The vitamins are chewable tablets which makes them a super easy and no-fuss part of our morning routine, and my daughter loves them. She now reminds me in case I’ve forgotten to give her a vitamin after her breakfast. 

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Caruso Children’s Nutritional Support Range includes a great selection of vitamins and minerals, including Children’s Multivitamin (the go-to supplement for general nutritional gaps), Children’s Brain Health, Children’s Eye Health, Children’s Immune Health, Children’s Bone Health, (which is helpful for the anything-but-choccie-milk avoiders), and Children’s Magnesium Complex.

3. Prep together.

While this is sometimes not practical (and gets a little messy!) it’s great to prep your meals together. My daughter loves packing her lunchbox with me now and I often catch her packing another lunchbox after school. 

Since introducing this ritual, my daughter has learnt to enjoy the process and recognises the value of prep. I’m still working on teaching her the “clean up the mess” part though!


4. Invest in a good lunchbox and tableware.

I didn’t realise the importance of a good bento lunchbox until after I started using it. The investment was 100% worth it. We get so much use out of our good quality kids tableware and lunchboxes. 

My top tips when looking to invest in good lunchboxes? Steer towards styles with divided sections. This applies to tableware such as plates. 

Fussy kids love keeping their food separate, plus the food looks so much neater and more appealing, so your kid will be more likely to eat it. Also, ensure your lunchbox is airtight; this will help keep everything fresh and looking great.

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5. Tricks and treat.

No, I don’t mean Halloween. 

I mean that if you need to trick them, then go for it. I often sneak some nutritional yeast in my daughters noodles, pasta or soup. 

Another great idea is to add pureed cauliflower or carrot into bolognese pasta sauce – they won’t even notice!

And it’s important to treat too. Many experts may recommend against 'treating' kids, so they don’t form an association with 'good' and 'bad' foods, however the incentive of something sweet after a fully-eaten dinner seems to work a treat in my house. Do what works for your family.

If you've got fussy eaters and looking for peace of mind, check out Caruso's Children's Nutritional Support range here.

These medicines may not be right for you. Read the warnings before purchase. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and Mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

Caruso's Children's Eye Health contains fish, soya, sulfite and phenylalanine, Children's' Brain Health contains soya, fish and sulfites, Children's Multivitamin contains soya and sulfites, Children's Immune Health and Children's Magnesium Complex contain sulfites.

Feature Image: Supplied / @mum_made_yum

Caruso's Natural Health
The early years of life involves not only a period of rapid physical growth but also significant cognitive and behavioural development. Bones, muscles and organs, not to mention hair, skin, nails and brain matter, all need a constant stream of nutrients to function. A healthy, balanced diet is essential to provide these necessary nutrients to facilitate this growth and development, not only in the early stages of life but also to ensure resilience into the future. Providing children healthy food and encouraging good dietary habits early on helps builds healthy, strong bodies which are more resilient towards future health problems.