Children's Nutrition
A guide for kids that are fussy eaters

Children's Nutrition for Fussy Eaters

We all know children require a balanced and nutrition-rich diet for growth, function and proper development.

Research in almost every facet of children’s development highlights the need for wholesome eating.

But often, this isn’t as easy in practice

If you find children’s lunchboxes have you ripping your hair out or are coming home full, read on…

First up, we suggest a whole-food approach to eating from a very early age to help establish healthy eating habits from the get go. Too, being a healthy eating role model yourself. It’s integral to ensuring your child develops a strong foundation for eating well and a good relationship with food.

So where to begin? 

1. Good Sources of Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of all body tissues. Ensure your child is having good quality sources of protein throughout the day, such as free range eggs and chicken, grass fed red meat, legumes, fish, quinoa, ground nuts and seeds.


2. Healthy Fats

Your child’s brain is made up of over 60% fat, which is fuelled by fats consumed in your children’s diet. Good sources of healthy fats include avocado, nuts and seeds, chia seeds, oils (olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, coconut oil), grass fed meat and free range eggs.

Omega 3 fats, most importantly the fatty acid called DHA, are essential for healthy brain development. They also help to reduce inflammation in the body (especially important if your child has allergies and skin disorders) and support a healthy immune system. Good sources of omega 3 fats include oily fish (salmon, sardines & anchovies) and seafood, chia seeds, flaxseeds and vegetables. A supplement may be required if your child doesn’t eat a lot of these foods.

3. Unrefined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for your child to stay active and attentive. The best sources of carbohydrate are fruits and vegetables, which contain a range of vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of fibre. Include a variety of fruits and veggies, rather than offering the same ones each week.

When baking, opt for coconut flour, buckwheat flour, besan flour, nut meals, and wholemeal wheat flour. Halve the amount of sugar in recipes and use natural sugars such as honey, pure maple syrup, rice malt syrup or molasses. These foods should be offered sparingly. 

Introducing New Foods

While it can be very frustrating as a parent, it is normal for your child to be unsure of a new food! The claims they don’t like it, throwing it on the floor and scrunching their face up in disgust are all very normal and okay. 

Our top tips for fussy eaters include:

  • Don’t give up – be patient and positive – as hard as this can sometimes be! Offer new foods a little bit at a time, a number of times.
  • Involve children in the process. Make it fun and interesting. Grow a veggie patch or take your child to the fruit and veggie shop and talk about the foods. Focus on the colour – “How about we try green foods.”
  • Offer the new food with familiar foods your child loves. For example, roasted potatoes with roasted sweet potatoes and carrots. Add just a little bit of the new food so your child’s attention isn’t drawn straight to it.
  • Encourage them to try the new food by saying things like, “Take a little bite and if you don’t like it, that’s okay.”
  • Present vegetables and fruit in a variety of ways. Try their natural shape, steamed, mashed, chopped up very small and cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
  • Work with the styles of foods that your child enjoys – smoothies, colours, things to dip, eating with their hands, choosing their own plate and cutlery, and use silly names for foods. e.g. Monster slime for a green smoothie.
  •  “Hide” nutrients if you are finding it difficult to get your child to eat a substantial amount. Vegetable hummus and 
Some ideas for extra nutrition include:
  • Veggie frittatas made with vegetables chopped very small
  • Brownies, muffins and cakes made with sweet potato, zucchini, pumpkin, banana or carrot
  • Smoothies blended with fruit, spinach, zucchini and gelatin powder
  • Add gelatin powder to cooked meals
  • Use gelatin powder to make ‘gummies’
  • Use bone broth as a base for sauces
  • Grate/puree veggies and/or sprinkle seaweed flakes through meals like spaghetti
  • Roll vegetables in dukkah seasoning and roast
  • Stir-fry! Many fussy eaters actually like a stir-fry as there is a range of other flavours to focus on!
Finally remember to be patient, use a calm voice and lead by example! Good luck

Tired of the way you are feeling?

In just 30 minutes you could discover real solutions to help you feel amazing.

Our $50 Naturopath Assessment with one of our expert practitioners is the ideal place to start with a complete overview of your health and your goals.

Sunshine Coast - Brisbane - Gold Coast