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As a parent, kids making a fuss over food can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with. One minute they like one thing and the next minute, tantrums and pursed lips!

Once you stop breast or bottle feeding exclusively and move on to introducing solids and a wider variety of tastes - usually around four to six months - your baby may have some trouble adapting to all the new tastes and textures. After all, these are a totally foreign experience for her! This means that often she'll end up refusing food or spitting it back out at you. This is normal and she will get used to it - you just have to keep trying!

The real fussy eater stage tends to kick in somewhere between 15 months and two and a half years of age. Have you noticed your toddler is getting a tad too choosy with her meals lately? Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can implement to help reduce the fuss factor.

Lead by example: Eat with your child - if you're eating your vegetables, she's more likely to as well. It also gives them the sense of eating as a fun social activity.

Provide variety: Including lots of variety in your toddler's diet also helps. If your child is particularly averse to her veggies, experiment with different vege-based sauces or bake them into quiches and lasagnes. There are lots of great recipe books out there but a favourite in our house is Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. These give you great ideas for concealing veges in foods as diverse as chocolate brownies and chicken balls!

Giving choices also helps - toddlers like taking control of their own lives, and whether she chooses cauliflower or broccoli, it's a win for you!

Discontinue personal chef services: It's tempting to whip up something kid-friendly when the rest of the family is enjoying beef stir fry or eggplant parmesan, but try to avoid cooking your toddler her own special meal. This will only serve to reinforce her fussiness - and it will chew into your precious time.

Remember, you can do what you can to make food more exciting and interesting for a fussy eater, but in the end if she's hungry, she's likely to give in to eating whatever's on the table.



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