The joys and Tribulations of Childcare

A collection of articles written by mothers about their own experiences of raising children.

Fussy eaters

Having a child who is a fussy eater is more of a problem for the parent than for the child himself. Fussy eaters can often drive a mother to tears. Watching a child eat a limited diet is frustrating for a parent. However, in many cases, the problem works itself out as the child grows up.

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Here's an example

One example, from the past, is of a little girl born in the 1940s during World War II. Probably entertaining fears regarding the chaos in the world and not really knowing much about it, she began to only eat a limited diet. Loving peanut butter and jelly, she wanted to subsist on this, as this was her favorite food. Her mother was so concerned that she sent the daughter away to a special hospital for children to solve the "problem." When the daughter returned, she still did not like to eat a variety of food, but had added roast beef and french fries (chips!) to her diet of peanut butter. The doctor was called in; every time the child was examined, she was healthy, except for colds occasionally. In her teens, as her older sister began taking an interest in cooking, the young girl began to taste a larger selection of foods and spices and began including vegetables and eggs.

How this 'fussy eater' evolved

Today, that fussy eater loves eating out in diverse ethnic restaurants, cooking a large variety of creative dishes, and truly enjoys fresh vegetables. The fussy eater morphed into a woman who is still fussy, however; she likes her food fresh, chemical-free and healthy. Her mother's repeated words, "No one will want to take you to a restaurant," are laughable, in fact.

So do you really have anything to worry about?

Naturally, you should get a nutritionist's advice to ensure that your child is receiving all the essential minerals, calories and vitamins. However, your little fussy eater may just be going through a stage and expressing himself or herself through their diet. Just as their bodies change, children's taste changes as they are exposed to the world and the exciting sights, sounds, smells and tastes that are out there waiting for exploration. Cajoling, threatening, and other measures do not always work; they may only instil confusion and fear in a child already fearful of adventuring into the world of enjoyable eating. If the child is healthy, relax, employ patience and humour whilst enjoying your child for who they are. The fact that children are always changing and growing is reassuring to the parent of a fussy eater.


Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.

Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.

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