80% Of UK Parents Say Their Children Are Fussy Eaters!
New research shows that fussy eating habits affect more than 8 in 10 families in the UK! A survey of over 1000 parents illustrates the scale of fussy eating in the UK.
• 90% of parents of fussy eaters say their child’s eating behaviour has a negative impact on their life.
• 69% of parents worry their child is not getting the nutrition they need
• 60% said fussy eating frustrated them
• 27% said that the fussy eating situation led to feelings of anxiety and feeling powerless
• 15% admitted they felt guilty
• 40% of parents with fussy eaters said that their child’s behaviour had turned mealtimes into a time of conflict and created tension with their partner
• Nearly 10% of parents said they can spend between 40 minutes and an hour every mealtime encouraging their child to eat
Tackling the Fussy Eating Problem
Mums and dads of fussy eaters will bribe children with dessert or sweets, hide vegetables in other foods and threaten to take away treats or fun activities. Netali Levi, a Clinical Psychologist who works with children who are fussy eaters and their parents, says: “Managing mealtimes to make them enjoyable, reducing stress (both yours and the child’s) and understanding your child’s hunger signals are all key to success….You need to find what works for you and your child but generally speaking, by involving them in the process of shopping, cooking and preparing food, gradually introducing new flavours and textures, and rewarding progress, it should be possible for you to navigate this tricky phase and get them back to healthy eating habits.”
Abbott Nutrition, who commissioned the study, has developed a new website called Fussyeaters.co.uk, offering practical guidance to parents to help them get their children back on track with healthy eating. The plan helps parents to:
• Identify and understand their child’s individual habits and hunger signals
• Follow a set meal and snack routine
• Introduce new foods and textures gradually and regularly
• Make mealtimes a positive experience for everyone
• Let their child take some of the control