Zoe Bingley-Pullin is Australian Avocados’ resident nutritionist and a passionate supporter of the Eating My Colourful Vegies and Fruit early childhood learning program designed to get toddlers eating a wide range of foods to ensure healthy eating habits for life.

Here are her top tips for parents who want to encourage their fussy kids to taste nature’s rainbow.

1. Get kids involved!

Ask your child to help with the preparation of a meal as they will make food a fun thing and your child is more likely to eat a meal he or she has helped to make.

2. Invite friends to tea

By inviting one of your child’s friends over for a meal, you will help create a feeling of festivity at the table and this often encourages a fussy eater to overcome some of their usual barriers around certain foods.

3. Lead by example

If you’re a fussy eater then you may have to make peace with the idea that your child may be a fussy eater too. Be a good role model and try to expand your diet to show your little one that you enjoy a wide variety of foods.

4. Keep a schedule

By doing this you will be setting regular habits for eating and establishing rules around what is expected at meal times.

5. Add colour and fun

Food needs to look interesting to entice toddlers so include different colours and textures on their plates and ask them what they like about the foods to help reinforce positive associations with healthy foods.

6. Encourage self-feeding

Being actively involved in eating, rather than sitting passively receiving food, will encourage your toddler to take an interest in the food he or she is being served.

7. Find a food your child likes to eat from each food group

If your child doesn’t like milk, try offering yoghurt or cheese.

8. Change the scenery

For example, why not try introducing new foods at a picnic or offer cold meats, bread, raw veggies (grated) and salad on a mixed plate.

9. Be realistic

Your child is not a small adult and you can’t expect them to eat like an adult. Remember that kids need to try something several times to establish a taste preference so make sure you let them try something several different ways over time to help get them accustomed to the flavour.

10. Don’t force your toddler to eat

Serve child-size meals, three small meals a day and one to two small snacks in between.


  • I love Zoe. Good Chef Bad Chef with Adrian Richardson is brilliant and I’ve cooked quite a few recipes from the show

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  • I’m lucky to not have fussy eaters for kids. Great hints and tips here to get fussy eaters eating

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  • Oh Just so adorable great tips great ideas and great colours always intice little ones I find getting them to help prepare also encourages them to eat

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  • Lots of great tips there. Thanks.

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  • Cool! A really interesting article! Thank for this read!

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  • I love tip 7… one food from each group

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  • these are great tips for parents to try. thank you for sharing. it is always nice to get this extra info.


    • i let my children feed themselves which they get better at with time

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  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article and tips; fun and colour definitely help!

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  • Hope these tips work with my son

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  • I am new to this “fussy eating “thing as my 8 tr okd has been suffering re occurring tonsillitis and now wilk not wat meat unless its munce or spagetti. Not sure what t9 do any odeas eould help as still on waiting list.

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  • Good tips. Im trying to get my 4 yr old to eat more veggies!

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  • Fabulous and sensible tips, thanks for sharing

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  • Great article, thanks for the advice! I still really struggle with getting my kids to eat well and they are older now.

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  • thanks for sharing

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  • lovely tips, i have a fussy eater. so this is very useful too, thanks

    Reply

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