Will they grow out of it? Tips for older challenging eaters.

Almost all toddlers and kids go through a picky eating stage, while most grow out of it themselves, a quarter of them need support to learn how to enjoy trying new food and introducing a wider variety of food. Parents often ask “will they grow out of fussy eating?”


The parents of older challenging eaters often say to me “they want to be able to eat what their friends do” and “they’d love to be able to go to their friends’ houses for sleepovers but they can’t because of the food”. Sometimes this can happen about age 5 or 6, sometimes it can be much older, I have clients aged up to preteens who feel this way but who just don’t know to overcome their food aversions. Little Bites is here to give you strategies for challenging eaters of all ages, abilities and needs.

Little Bites works with all ages of challenging eaters to help them to overcome food aversions, from those who are just dropping foods and food groups, to those desperate to be able to eat the same as their friends. With older challenging eaters it can be really difficult to break the habits and the food aversions without support from a professional, and when they drop those foods you rely on it can become very stressful. There can be many reasons that kids stop eating the food they’ve always eaten, you can check those out here.


Tips for older challenging eaters

Ask them what food they’d like to be able to eat and reasons. That way you can try those foods and give motivation.

Go slow. Too much pressure and stress will make your challenging eater less likely to give it a go. I know it’s really hard when you feel that stress over their diet, nutrition and all the guilt that parents feel about not being able to help their child.

Get them involved in meal planning, shopping and exploring the fruit and vegetable aisles when you go shopping.

Get them helping to prepare the food. It will help them get to know the smells, textures and is a great first step.

Always give them opportunities to try new food, never say “they won’t like that”, they pick up on this and assume they won’t. This Mum is a perfect example of turning her 11 year old son’s diet around.


If you want a free initial consultation to see how Little Bites can help your challenging eater to overcome their food aversions you can book here.