How to handle a fussy eater; a short guide


If you have a fussy eater at home, it can be tough getting them to finish a meal at dinnertime. Fussy eating is actually a normal part of childhood and is often more about children wanting to be independent than it is about not wanting to eat certain foods. Fussy eating is their way of exploring their environment and asserting independence. Children are likely to become less fussy as they get older, but here are a few tips to encourage them to eat a wide range of foods;

Make mealtimes a pleasant, low-stress time. Have regular mealtimes and try not to worry about food or drinks being spilled. Turn off all distractions like the TV and make mealtimes ‘family time’ so everyone can enjoy the process.

Give children realistic expectations with food. You could start with asking them to eat one piece of carrot and work up to a mouthful.

Praise your child when they try a new food, and try to ignore it if they are being fussy about food. If they get lots of attention for being fussy, they may continue the behaviour to keep the attention.

Make food fun; cut healthy food into fun shapes to entice children to eat them, or let children help prepare food as they are more likely to eat food they helped prepare.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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