You asked

How can I tempt my fussy child to eat a healthy breakfast?

If your child is a fussy eater then his eating habits may be a constant source of worry. Will he eat enough at breakfast to concentrate at school today? Is he getting enough minerals and vitamins each day?

Here are some general guidelines on how best to tackle fussy eating at breakfast time:

Be a good example for your child
If you’re a picky eater who is reluctant to try new foods then chances are your child may be a fussy eater too. Set a good example and expand your diet to show her that you too can enjoy a wide range of different foods.

Help with food preparation
Get your child to don an apron and help with the preparation of a meal. She’s more likely to eat food that she has helped to make. Even getting her to get her own cereal and pour in the milk can help.

Set up regular habits for eating
Children do best when they are provided with a routine. Have set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and try to stick to them where possible. Make sure that there is plenty of family conversation and that your child enjoys sitting at the table.

Make sure that the food looks appealing
Serving different coloured foods on his plate will make for more interesting mealtimes. Also, make sure to include some favourite foods. 

Encourage self-feeding from a young age
If your child is actively interested in food, rather than passively being given food, this will encourage her to take a more active interest in the food he is being given.

Find a food she is willing to eat from each food group
If your child isn't a fan of milk, try giving her yoghurt or cheese. 

Finish meals
If your child has eaten as much of a meal as she is going to, remove her plate and insist that she sit at the table until everyone else is finished their meal. This will discourage her from thinking she can drift away from the table and come back later to pick at her food.

Serve child-friendly portions
Your child's stomach is small, so make sure that your expectations of what they can eat are realistic. You can't expect your child to eat the same amounts as an adult. Remember if she's hungry she can always ask for a second helping! It's generally advised to serve three small meals a day, with a snack in-between.

Give them a good start to the day
Make sure she eats a nutritious breakfast. Serve cereal with chopped fruit or cereal with warm milk for a nutritious breakfast. Try wholewheat bread with low-fat cheese or a yoghurt and wholemeal muffin for quick and easy breakfasts.

Give your child a choice
Let your fussy eater have a little power at mealtimes. Would she like cereal or yoghurt? Milk or juice? By letting her choose one food over another, you will find that she will be far more willing to eat the one she has chosen.

More questions

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