Parenting: 20 foods your child MUST try before age 5 to avoid fussiness

Sophie Hamilton

A new study reveals the top 20 foods children under the age of five should try to develop difficult eating habits.

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Research by baby food brand Vir Aisha found 86 percent of children younger than five do not get their five a day due to difficult eating habits, and a large 83 percent of children’s diets have a deficiency of ‘exotic’ flavors and spices.

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The 2,000-parent survey found that a third (34 percent) of parents let their children eat what they want because of stressful meals, including low-nutrient foods and takeaways.

Dietitian Priya Tew said: “Having a child who is picky with their eating can bring so much stress at meal time. Feeding your little one can feel like a big responsibility; they grow fast, so it’s important that they diet provides them with all the nutrients they need. “

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The top 20 foods to try for children under five:

  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Save
  • Coconut
  • turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Butternut
  • Paprika
  • Parsnips
  • Coriander
  • Dates
  • Lenses
  • Coin
  • Mango
  • Sweetcorn
  • Garlic
  • Potato
  • Onions
  • Apricot
  • Cumin

Dietitian Priya Tew’s advice for children’s meals:

1) Continue to offer the foods that children do not eat – exposure is really the key, especially with spicy foods that children will not be so used to.

2) Put small amounts of some of those foods on their plate at every meal. This will encourage your little one to touch, smell, see and finally taste the food.

3) Starting with salty meals and a vegetable-first approach can help build healthy eating habits. It is essential that little ones get maximum nutrition and flavor from every little mouthful, and that we encourage them to embrace, explore and taste new flavors.

4) Create recipes that introduce babies to a variety of exotic nutrients earlier in life – before negative eating habits set in.

What if your child is older than five and picky with food? It’s never too late to try new ingredients and flavors, so come taste!

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