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Matthew asked...

We're having trouble getting our 2 year old to even try new food...

We're having trouble getting our 2 year old to even try new food types and she's getting pickier by the day, now dismissing food without trying it. Do you have any suggestions to get her to at least try them. At present she will eat nothing and tolerate hunger rather than try something, even something she has previously enjoyed. We are AXA PPP members

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The answer

While its natural for parents to feel anxious about their child getting enough food, especially if they are refusing to eat sometimes, its important to remember fussy eating is simply a phase that most toddlers go through, usually in their second year. Try not to worry about what you’re your child eats in a day, or if they don’t eat everything at meal times, as long as your child is active and gaining weight and they do not appear ill, they’re getting enough to eat.

It’s perfectly normal for toddlers to refuse to eat or even taste new foods. The best way for your child to learn to eat and enjoy new foods is to copy you. Try to eat with them as often as you can and praise your child for eating, even if they only manage a little. If your child rejects the food, don’t force them to eat it, instead take the food away without comment and try to remain calm even if it’s very frustrating. Don’t leave meals until your child is too hungry or tired to eat this may help with co operation.

If you feel your child is losing weight or her current eating habits are affecting her general health it’s important to seek advice from you GP or health visitor for further assessment and support. Speak to your local pharmacist regarding a suitable children’s vitamin supplement if appropriate.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses