Home » Over 80 Percent of UK Parents Have Children Who Are Fussy Eaters

Over 80 Percent of UK Parents Have Children Who Are Fussy Eaters

The Emotional Fallout is Significant –

Abbott Launches New Solutions to Help Mums Tackle the Issue


MAIDENHEAD, 16 January 2014. Abbott today unveils new research1 revealing that fussy eating habits affect more than eight in ten families across the UK.

The results of the survey1 of over 1000 parents, commissioned by the global healthcare company Abbott, illustrate the scale and impact of fussy eating in the UK. Almost 90 percent of parents of fussy eating children reported that they experience negative emotions as a result of their child’s eating behaviour.

· Sixty-nine percent of parents worry their child is not getting the nutrition they need

· Sixty percent said fussy eating was a cause of frustration

· Twenty-seven percent reported the situation led to feelings of anxiety and feeling powerless

· Fifteen percent admitted they felt guilty

The impact at home

· Forty percent of parents with fussy eaters said that their child’s behaviour had turned mealtimes into a time of conflict and created tension with their partner

· Almost ten percent of parents said they can spend between 40 minutes and an hour every mealtime encouraging their child to eat

Tackling the problem

The survey highlights the lengths that parents of fussy eaters will go to in order to get their child to eat well. Bribing children with dessert or sweets (34 percent), hiding vegetables in other foods (33 percent) and threatening to take away treats or fun activities (21 percent) were some of the most common tactics used by parents.

A more positive, collaborative approach with your child could be the way forward says Netali Levi, a Clinical Psychologist who works with children who are fussy eaters and their parents: “Managing mealtimes to make them enjoyable, reducing stress (both yours and the child’s) and understanding your child’s hunger signals are all key to success. It’s important to realise that there are some aspects of the situation where you may have less control. You need to find what works for you and your child but generally speaking, by involving them in the process of shopping, cooking and preparing food, gradually introducing new flavours and textures, and rewarding progress, it should be possible for you to navigate this tricky phase and get them back to healthy eating habits.”

New solutions

In response to this widespread issue, Abbott has developed a new website www.fussyeaters.co.uk, offering practical guidance to parents to help them get their children back on track with healthy eating and launched PaediaSure Shake, a specially formulated food supplement for fussy eaters.

The website for parents of fussy eaters has been developed in partnership with nutrition and psychology experts, with input from mothers with first-hand experience of the challenges that parents face. The site hosts a unique 12-week “back on track” eating plan, which provides week-by-week practical guidance and helpful tips to support parents and children on their journey to enjoying healthy foods. The plan helps parents to:

· Identify and understand their child’s individual habits and hunger signals

· Follow a set meal and snack routine

· Introduce new foods and textures gradually and regularly

· Make mealtimes a positive experience for everyone

· Let their child take some of the control

In addition, the website features dietitian-designed Six Sure Steps to raise a child who eats well, which include modifying textures of foods based on the child’s feeding skills (soft textures, soft finger foods, crunchy foods); putting a small amount of a new food on the child’s plate; trusting the child to eat as much as he or she needs; eating with the child to model good eating.

To support parents during this journey, Abbott is also launching PaediaSure Shake, a specially formulated food supplement for fussy eaters. It contains protein, calcium, iron and vitamin D – all essential nutrients that every child needs to grow and develop. The survey shows that these are the key nutrients parents worry their children are missing out on1.

PaediaSure Shake can be a regular part of the child’s daily diet during the fussy eating phase. It is not a substitute for healthy eating; rather it provides peace of mind for parents concerned about their child’s nutritional intake, while they work towards establishing healthy eating habits.

Mike Smith, General Manager at Abbott Nutrition UK and Ireland, notes: “Fussy eating among children is a widespread issue that has a significant social and emotional impact on families. PaediaSure Shake and fussyeaters.co.uk provide practical solutions and support for parents during this challenging time.”

For more information about PaediaSure Shake, please visit www.fussyeaters.co.uk Parents can purchase PaediaSure Shake online from www.boots.com and the vanilla flavour will be available exclusively in selected Boots stores from February 2014.

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