Help! I Think I Have A Fussy Eater...

Special resources put together exclusively for Beta A2 Australia by Dietician and Nutritionist, Kate Di Prima.

What does a fussy eater look like?

Fussy eaters can come in all shapes and sizes; they can be overweight, underweight or fall within their healthy weight range. Some may appear to be growing well however may be developing underlying nutritional deficiencies and setting up poor eating habits.

Fussy eating can last for a couple of days or up to a number of years in the most severe cases; it can also occur at any time in a child’s life. Fussy eaters should not be confused with those children who consume small amounts from a variety of foods however are essentially growing well. 

Checklist to rule out ‘fussy eating’

  • Will eat a variety of foods – at least 10-15 different food items per day, although does prefer a select few foods as ‘favourites’
  • Will try something new and interested in food, however, sometimes refuses foods
  • Will successfully move on to appropriate textures for age
  • Is moving bowels well with no other health issues
  • Is generally eating at least half of the meal offered
  • Dislikes some foods however not avoiding whole categories
  • Is generally sleeping well, has plenty of energy and rarely gets sick. If so, sickness only lasts a few days

If you answered yes to the above questions then your little one is not a fussy eater and probably just displaying normal childhood behaviour. 

If you are still concerned, here are a few typical fussy trait and tips to help your little fusspot enjoy healthy foods.

Fussy eater tips:

1. She will only eat white foods

Nutritional shortfall: Can be low in fibre, vitamins, and minerals

Try: Offering other healthy white foods such as bananas, pears, French toast, healthy chicken bites, peeled cucumbers

Aim: To introduce flavours and sauces to improve their palates


2. He avoids all vegetables and fruits

Nutritional Shortfall: Can be low in soluble and insoluble fibre for healthy bowels

Try: Grated or blended vegetables into dishes such as bolognese or frittata. Use legumes such as lentils or butter beans to increase fibre in their diet.

Aim: for a health bowel motion daily


3. She won’t try anything new

Nutritional shortfall: Can be restrictive and repetitive, can become bored and 

restrict even further leading to nutritional deficits

Try: One new food on the plate, the size of a pea. Encourage them to touch, smell, lick and nibble the new food to become familiar.

Aim: To decrease the anxiety towards trying new foods and increasing variety in their diet


4. He chews and spits foods like meat and vegetables out, preferring soft smooth textures. This can lead to the avoidance of whole food groups

Nutritional shortfall: Can be low in protein. Fibre, vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc

Try: Offering soft well cooked meats such as Osso Bucco or chicken rissoles and soft vegetables as he may not have strengthened his chew muscles. Add small pieces of cheese or banana to smooth textures to encourage chewing

Aim: to improve jaw strength and chewing

Whilst you work on the strategies to encourage your little Fuss-Pot, you can fill in their nutritional gaps with 1-2 serves of BetaA2 Toddler milk drink.

Beta A2 Nutritional Toddler Milk powder can be used… 

  • To make a delicious milk drink
  • To make a healthy smoothie
  • In cooking and baked goods such as muffins and pikelets instead of regular cows milk
  • And much more