While it may not be as serious as those we’ve watched on Freaky Eaters, fussy eating kids are driving parents mad.
A survey of over 3,000 parents by Green Giant found that one in three children have been described as fussy eaters by their parents.
Added to this, two out of three parents say that their kids are fussier than they themselves were when growing up.
One in twenty children hide food they don’t want to eat (one mother reported that her six-year-old son is regularly caught flushing peas down the toilet), while others sneak food onto other plates or feed it to the dog.
Of course, sulking, tantrums and claiming to be full also make an appearance ion the list of tactics used by children trying to avoid eating unappetising food.
To appease the kids, one in five parents say they have to cook different meals for each family member, while a similar number buy special “reward” puddings.
General Mills nutritionist Vanessa McConkey RNutri says: “These findings reinforce the importance of getting back to the table – sitting down together as a family to enjoy mealtimes, without the many distractions revealed by this survey. Kids can be very fussy and encouraging them to eat a proper, nutritious meal can be difficult for parents.
“Instilling healthy eating habits early on in life will help ensure children eat a healthy, balanced meal, rich in vegetables and fruit and get more of the nutrients they need. It will also increase the likelihood of these healthy habits being carried on throughout life. Choosing vegetables like canned sweet corn can make it much easier to ensure children get one of their recommended five a day.”
Healthy eating is a real marketing buzzword at present, as you’ll see if you watch a few food adverts on TV, but it can be a difficult balancing act to find food that kids will eat and that’s reasonably good for them.
Do you consider your kids to be fussy eaters? How have you tried to resolve the issue, or have you found yourself giving in to their pressure?
Share your thoughts, tips and tricks in the comments below.