The Psychology Behind Your Child's Fussy Eating

Where does fussy eating stem from and how can you deal with it?

Parents of fussy eaters usually deal with the debacle of dinner time in two ways. They either accept that their child will never eat their greens and move on, or demand they sit at the table until their plate is completely empty.

For us adults, it’s easy. If we don’t like a certain food, we don’t eat it. But for kids who are unable to articulate why they’re refusing to put it in their mouths, things are a little harder. Putting yourselves in their shoes is possibly the only way to understand how to effectively deal with food fussiness.

“A good way to get into the mind of a fussy child is to think of a food that you really can’t cope with, maybe bananas, mushrooms, shellfish, eggs?” Dr Gillian Harris, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Birmingham tells me. “What is going through your mind - disgust? And if I tried to make you eat your horror food - anxiety and then fear.

”It’s not just about being fussy, it’s a genuine feeling of panic.”