Fussy kids and keeping the peace


During this journey of motherhood, I’ve had some hands-on experience with fussy eaters. While I’m no expert, I still have some grounding in what it is like when your kid won’t eat the food you have put in front of them.

There are lots of reasons why your child may be fussy about food. Many articles I have read over the years have pointed the finger at permissive parenting. However, I don’t think that is always the case. Sometimes our kids model bad food habits from others. Food fussiness can have multiple reasons. For some, they may be seeking to control their world in some way. Being little is hard work! Here are some common reasons I have found for fussy eating:


Some foods have a very strong flavour. When my kids were under the age of five, they had a very bland diet. There were evenings when I would look at the plate of beige I was about to serve them and despair. Even now some vegetables are too bitter. My youngest prefers all her vegetables raw.


Sometimes a food doesn’t have a good mouth feel. For me, soggy bread makes me feel ill when eating it. Likewise, furry fruit like peaches and kiwifruit feel awful to eat though I love the flavour. If I can get hung up on texture, it’s no surprise my kids can too. I have seen first hand how the wrong texture makes my kids gag.


Sometimes the issue with the meal is the odour. Kids will tell you if it smells awful. If this happens, it’s best to remove the meal from in font of them, and ask that they not say anything more. Especially if the rest of the family are trying to enjoy the food. It’s very hard to eat food when someone is loudly objecting to the stink.

fussy eaters

Tips for keeping the peace

While all of this can be frustrating, try to be calm. Punishing your child won’t always have the desired outcome. For example, if I kept a dinner my child didn’t eat and kept presenting it to her for days on end, she still would not eat it. “They won’t starve themselves” does not always apply. You want meal times to be as tranquil as possible.

In our house we do our best to cook one meal for everyone. I cook meat, then remove the meat portion for one serve. I plate that meat with plain pasta or rice for the first child. Once the first child has their meal set aside, I add a little sauce for the next portion before plating the second kid’s meal. Lastly, I finish off the meal with the additional sauces and spices for us.

Balancing the nutrition

I recently received two tins of MILO powder from Nestlé as part of a review. Lately we have been enjoying a mug of MILO with milk after dinner. For me, it’s a way to give my kids a nutritional boost, as adding MILO to milk provides more protein, more calcium, more iron and more vitamin D. Plus they are always welcoming of a cup of MILO because they like the taste. Win win!

Fussy eaters

Is your child fussy at mealtimes? Join our discussion in the comments below.

This article was written by Kym Moore. Kym was sponsored by Nestlé to write this blog for the MILO Hero Mums promotion and was provided with complimentary product and remuneration. These views are the personal views of Kym and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nestlé.

Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.

Baby Likes Cake

Read more on Kidspot:


  1. Jen_Wiig 27/08/2018 at 12:15 pm

    i couldn’t agree more about the not punishing a child who maybe fussy…for the longest time i thought mr 3 was being fussy but in actual fact it was 2 things… the flavor was just too much for his basic little palate and i was over whelming him giving him a plate full of food like his older brothers, he now has his own portion sized plate and I do like the author and plate up his food before adding the spices and extra flavoring for my other 2 boys and I. I always worry they aren’t eating enough but its son true they wont starve themselves. ..have to try remember this.

  2. SarahBlair 24/08/2018 at 1:43 pm

    I am going crazy trying to feed my 4 year old. He looks at dinner and says he doesn’t like it, no matter what it is. He will hardly eat anything and it’s so worrying!!

  3. MuddledUpMolly 20/08/2018 at 10:33 pm

    Thankfully I do not have fussy kids but I wouldn’t be keen to be giving them a cup of milo per day just to keep the peace. I have raised my children like I was raised, eat what you are given 🙂

  4. dawnblyth 11/08/2018 at 3:59 pm

    My 9yr old used to eat all sorts of veges, fruit and meat up until 2yrs old then just stopped. This was around the time of the earthquakes and I don’t know whether this had anything to do with it or just coincidental but its been a battle since then. Only just in the last year or so can I now make one meal for all of us and he will generally eat it -often complaining but he eats. In saying this, usually its 3 kinds of vege – potatoes, peas and raw carrots and that is the staple of the veg. I wish he would eat more and I often wonder if he needs more variety for vitamins etc. I am hoping with time he will expand his taste buds 🙂

  5. Mands1980 09/08/2018 at 11:15 am

    All 3 of our children are different and can all be fussy at different times. My oldest has never really liked meats so that is a hard one as it is important he gets some form of meat. Then the others love frozen Vegas mostly over cooked like peas frozen. We try to get them to eat as much food though otherwise they are hungry again before bed. Texture is a big thing with both adults and children if we don’t like it we won’t eat it.

  6. Bevik1971 08/08/2018 at 4:19 pm

    We have come to the conclusion that if our 5 year old is too fussy to eat it – then she just has to eat what she wants from the meal and that’s all she gets. She’s not going to starve if she doesn’t and she has actually started to eat more of the things she refused to eat since we started doing that 🙂 I do know that the texture thing is a big one for her though and can understand that to a point. If she’s hungry she will eat 🙂

Leave A Comment