Fussy eating is common in young children and often concerns parents. Conducting a growth and nutritional assessment and educating parents about the nutritional needs of their children are the roles of health professionals faced with parents concerned about their children’s eating habits.
- Children’s growth is a sensitive predictor of their nutritional status, health and psychosocial environment.
- Assessment of growth is an important first step in deciding whether a child has a nutritional or medical problem.
- Children are less likely to eat foods that they have been forced or coerced to eat.
- The fussy eater is often eating more than is required of one or two food groups at the expense of other food groups.
- Parents can help their children’s eating by eating with them, offering a variety of foods in appropriate amounts and, most importantly, letting their children help themselves to the food provided.