Fussy Eaters – Be one step ahead with Magic Ting Tongs!

Fussy Eaters, children like to be in charge

Children who are fussy eaters are normally just going through a phase. A phase where they want to exert their newly found independence (can be seen as stubbornness) and they want it their way, no matter what. It can also follow an illness where they diet may have changed and then they do not want to back to their regular eating habits. A change of routine or simply just them.

Having worked with many fussy eaters and my own two fussy eaters, I decided to research and try out new methods of getting children to eat what you serve up.  Some ideas you have probably heard of , you can try one technique out at a time or use a couple together.

Fussy Eaters playing a game

You must not worry, stress out and feel anxious at mealtimes. If your child is not underweight then they are Ok.

With Toddlers you can look thorough a children’s cook book, look online and find some very simple recipes together. All children like cakes and biscuits so choose a  savoury recipe.

Make a trip to the supermarket or grocers just to buy these ingredients, don’t do you weekly shop. We are focusing on your child here a long shop will take away the principle of what you are trying to achieve.

Depending on your child’s age let them help you inthe kitchen. They can wash veggies and even use some simple kitchen utensils like a whisk or check out  www.kiddiesfoodkutter.com.au. -” the knife that cuts food not fingers ” If your child is in a high chair they can still help from there.

As you prepare the food talk about their colours, their names, let them touch and smell them.

Mention what each food is good for, meat gives you muscles, milk gives to strong bones and teeth, vegetables give you shiny hair and sparkly eyes. (Yes, not in a scientic way)

Try and have mealtimes together when possible, or at least have some food in front of you to eat , while your child eats- role modelling is your biggest friend .

Role play with dolls and teddies, with plastic food and utensils.

Look and read books together that involve food and meals eg:

Green Eggs And Ham  by Dr. Seuss

Ketchup on your  Cornflakes ? by Nick Sharrat

I  know where my food goes by Jacqui Maynard

Eat your Peas by Kes Gray and Nick Sharrat

Minimise snacks and drinks before meals, let your child help prepare their snacks for the day , explain that this is all that they have  alongside their main meals.

Fussy Easters and the Magic Ting Tongs and Baby Bop Noodles

My daughter could have possibly entered the Guiness book of world records for fussy eating. One of the only meals she liked was Baby Bop noodles. This was my saving meal, Baby Bop was her favourite character and Mummy announced one day that we were going to cook Baby Bop noodles for dinner. Baby Bop noodles were obviously Baby Bops’ favourite food and my young little Miss could not resist having the same meal as Baby Bop. You can choose any of your child’s favourite character for this and make theat meal have as many nutrients as possible. Little man’s was Cat in the Hat’s delicious snacks.

Due to their independent I can do it attitude children have, you can divide up the meal into different bowls and they can serve themselves on to their plate, using the Magic Ting Tongs.

The Magic Tings Tongs are just mini tongs, you can pretty much buy anywhere.  The child gets to use their tongs to serve themselves. They are  magic because unlike their cutlery it actually has movement in opening and closing, which children love (great for hand eye cordination too). Let them serve food onto your plate too. May get a little messy but if they are eating, the mess will clear up later.

FussyEaters and Designer Placemats

Help your child create their own placemat, with stickers, crayons , paints and explain this is what they are going to use to have their meals on , so they can use their imagiantion.  Two dollar shops have an amazing array of food stickers, you can add  to te  placemat and as they eat you can play games using the placemat.

“Have you got a carrot on there? ”

“What colour is the sweetcorn? Is there anything yellow on your placemat?”

“You have a number two on your mat, can you use the magic ting tongs and put two pieces of brocolli on your plate?”

Remember too that,  just for now  your child may not like a particular food , if they are eating other foods from that group, do not stress, they normally grow out of it. You too may have a certain food you do not like- It’s ok not to like everything.

Children learn through play and by making meals times more fun, this just may be what your fussy eater needs .


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Nathalie Brown

Child Behaviour Consultant at Easy Peasy Kids
Child Behaviourist and researcher. Creator of "Less tantrums. More smiles". I look at the bigger picture and think outside the box when working with children and their behaviour. Their world is different. As adults we sometimes forget this. Happiness Creator in my spare time. Eater of chocolate and cake.

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  1. Love it hun awesome post!
    Il defiantly be using some of these tips with Master almost 3 and i have been contemplating buying him the kiddie food cutter after this post i think its time

  2. I totally agree with this! good article!!

  3. I was approached by Nathalie (Easy Peasy Kids) re my Kiddies Food Kutter – “The knife that cuts food NOT fingers”, a great article endorsing not only my product but getting children involved in the preparation of meals, promotes independence, life skills, awareness of produce, and healthy eating!

    The book Vegie Smugglers by Wendy Blume in Sydney is fabulous for the whole family I cross promote with her as her recipes are healthy and practical and taste Yummy!!
    http://vegiesmugglers.com.au/about/ http://www.facebook.com/vegiesmugglers

  4. Thanks Jacklyn, for mentioning Vegie Smugglers – I’m getting great feedback from people who flick through with their kids, the kids choose what they want to eat then they make it and (hopefully) eat it!!!
    Another AWESOME kids picture book is ‘Vegetable Glue’ – hilarious poem about a girl who’s body parts fall off because she’s got no ‘vegetable glue’ to hold herself together. My kids LOVE it.
    Cheers, Wendy http://www.vegiesmugglers.com.au

  5. crystal says

    great article. thankfully none of my 3 are fussy but i will certainly pass on the tips to friends who aren’t as lucky. Thanks 🙂

  6. Nadine says

    Really helpful advice!! Have a very fussy and picky 9 year old which makes it difficult as my 4 year old eats everything you put on his plate!! Thanks for the tips!!

  7. Virginia says

    What a great post! I am really fortunate that my son is a great eater and my daughter is too but has food intolerances (poor thing). As a teacher I have tried to give parents strategies to assist them to keep their sanity – it really is stressful when your child refuses every thing except a couple of items, which are more than likely to be ‘some times’ foods. Thank you for the book references too.

  8. Pauline Cosby says

    Glad to know I’m not alone in stressing over a fussy eater. My 5 year old I think has had it her way for far too long and because we have let her get away with it it’s so hard now to get her to eat vegies and salad. She likes Avocado and that’s about it for salad, and she will eat mashed potato with mashed sweet potato or pumpkin by the half spoonful. Hard not to get stressed when I think she’s missing out on vitamins and minerasl. I now give her V8 Citrus juice and a kids multi vitamin daily! 🙂 Makes me feel a little better. Love your posts Nathalie!!

  9. Awesome article…thank you so much! tried some tips with my 2 girls and the independance it gave them at dinner time has made them more keen to try new things…thank you

  10. goodness knows we’ve tried many things, I simply serve it up, accept what they won’t eat and know that they will not starv to death.
    my son often will put himself to bed rather than eat his dinner. I’d rather him do that than fight with him for an hour.
    no point stressing over the small stuff.

  11. Amber murphy says

    Very informative article with great tips for miss 2. Thanks for sharing

  12. silvana gutierrez p says

    love the cutters and the ideas!!

  13. I purchased the Kiddies food Kutter for my son who has fine motor problems. He wasn’t interested. But his 3 year old brother loved it and cut through food easily. He thought the smiley face on it looked like a pumpkin and called it his “pumpkin knife”.

  14. Kimberley Belford says

    Awesome tips – It seems like I stress every mealtime and it gets me nowhere except upset and miserable.
    I will definetly be trying your awesome tips – out tomorrow to buy some cute coloured tongs 😀

  15. I was drawn to the title of this post because of my very fussy eater. I used to worry about it, but have learned to roll with it. Making it a battle accomplishes nothing. I’d love to try some of your tips – especially ‘playing a game’. Making things fun and having a spirit of playfulness about everything we do with our kids WILL ease the challenges. Sometimes this is hard to achieve when you’re feeling tired, but it nearly always pays off! Great tips – I’m off to try them! Thanks, Nat!

    • Deb thanks for stopping by, children pick up our anxiousness so much and they do love having their own control. My kids were the worst eaters in the world for a while now I look at Miss 16 who is healthy and eats everything and anything.

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