Living with a Selective Child (Quarantine Stories)

Living with a selective child

Our nutritionist

Marina Ruffini

Living with a Selective Child (Quarantine Stories)


A child exhibiting selective behavior towards food might seem extremely picky to the untrained eye when it comes to the food they are offered. However, they are actually expressing a discomfort that arose from an improperly managed weaning process. Particularly delicate is the transition from purees to solid foods. In purees, flavors can overlap, while individual foods accentuate taste greatly. This is the time when a child will further refine their food preferences.

Selective eating usually presents recognizable traits such as:

  • A diet based on an extremely limited variety of foods.
  • Strong reluctance to accept new foods.
  • Slow consumption during meals.
  • Disinterested or finicky attitude toward food.

More common in males, this difference diminishes with age. Typically, it doesn’t hinder a child’s healthy development, as many selective children are not underweight.

How can meal preparation be made less daunting for the cook, who is forced to cook ten different things for the rest of the family and what our little friend enjoys?

In addition to striving for visually appealing presentation to attract the child with colors and imaginative food arrangements, what worked at my house was letting my daughter experiment with what she wanted to eat. She would enter the kitchen wearing her adorable chef’s hat (as she calls it, a kind of bread basket flipped over her head) and by tasting with the tip of her tongue, kneading flour, eggs, and other ingredients, and sniffing the scent from the oven, she created expert dishes and finally TASTED them! It’s a success! Of course, on some things. The journey is long, but we’re not giving up.

Author: Carlotta

I am Carlotta, a fencing coach and personal trainer. I live and work in Sydney, but I have always lived in Italy. I have loved sports since I was little, and teaching is one of my main passions. I love understanding why some things work better than others in sports, and I believe that the best way to teach is to motivate people to understand why they need to do certain things. I also believe that sport is good for the mind and body, and I feel like I am doing good by teaching it. Sport can help people to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It can also help people to develop discipline, teamwork, and other important life skills. I am proud to be able to share my love of sport with others and help them to improve their lives. I will leave the rest up to you to find out.


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