When It Feels Like Your Child Is The Only Fussy Eater In The World

When you are the parent of a fussy eater you really have to celebrate every single achievement. 

When you are the parent of a fussy eater you really have to celebrate every single achievement.
Every little bit of progress is taking the spotlight away from the stress and frustration that fussy eating brings to the whole family. One of the most challenging things about having a fussy eating child is the fact that every child is so different.
There are so many helpful resources for parents but the reality is that every child has their own unique take on “fussy”. This is the very thing that can make the whole experience feel so lonely for the parent in the situation.
It is easy to feel as though you are the only person going through this stressful time. You just assume that your child is the only fussy eater in the world.

As your child develops you will come to know their preferences and habits pretty well. You will have found the things that work well in the home and the things that are to be avoided at all costs in order to keep the harmony. It may not be perfect but when you find your flow life suddenly becomes easier.
You accept your limitations, stop blaming yourself and simply do your best to help improve your child’s relationship with food. Anything that challenges or changes this is something you will want to run a mile from. The thought of ruining a good thing is unbearable.
Unfortunately, this can often include social occasions like birthday parties, toddler mornings and any event that involves food. We fear change and do not want to draw attention to our child’s issues with food but in doing this we also deprive ourselves of some of those experiences.
We also potentially miss out on opportunities to interact with other parents and children who may be going through the same thing.
Change is a guarantee in life but it is something that can profoundly affect things for a fussy eating child. It takes very little to turn them off a plate of food that they would have otherwise eaten.  A different plate, foods touching each other or a temperature change to name but a few.

When your child starts play school or primary school you will experience so many different levels of anxiety. It is a huge milestone and one that changes so much about your everyday life. If your child is a fussy eater this is possibly a major spanner in the works too.
Until now you have had a routine and certain rituals surrounding mealtimes. You know what your child likes to eat when they like to eat and what plate they like to eat it from. That has now been taken away from you and one of the day’s major meal-times will be had at school while you are not around. That can feel extremely daunting. You are worried that they will not eat but the biggest fear is that they will be seen as different by the other children.
One positive is the fact that with time this will become your child’s new normal. Your child will grow to anticipate and look forward to lunchtime with their friends at school. In fact, in many cases, this is often a huge turning point for a fussy eating child. The shift in dynamic and the sense of routine really works for them.
Seeing their friends eat different kinds of foods might really help. In many cases, school is perhaps the only meal time where the focus is not on the child but is instead on the whole class.
This can be a very powerful realization and it might just be the turning point for your child’s eating habits. And remember, you can be guaranteed that your child is just one of the fussy eating children in their class. You are not alone.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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