Tips For Fussy Eaters

Having a fussy eater in the house can make packing a lunchbox full of everyday foods a challenge. Try these tips for fussy eaters to help your child introduce a wider variety of healthy foods into their lunchbox. 

  • Talk to your child and find out what foods they like. Discuss Healthier options and let your child know why they are important. Focus on things such as brainpower and energy to learn and play. 
  • Involve your child in the planning and preparation of their lunchbox. Why not use our ‘SWAP IT Everyday Lunchbox Planner’ with your child? 
  • Try new foods with your child at home before adding them to the lunchbox. Eating together in an environment they feel safe can help. Be a role model and show your child just how much you enjoy the food. Remember, it’s not uncommon for children to dislike new foods the first time they try them. It can often take many attempts, so continue to expose your child to new foods. 

  • Keep snacks bite size so they can easily eat and then go and play. 
  • Some kids may be put off by unappealing squashed foods. Store easily squished items such as grapes in containers. Remember to make sure the lids are easy to open at school. 

  • Keep the lunchbox simple and limit the number of choices. Too many options can be overwhelming and confusing for children and often results in the lunchbox coming home with uneaten food. 
  • Apply the 3:1 rule, choose three everyday items your child knows and likes and one everyday item that is new for them in the lunchbox. It’s ok to repeat items in the lunchbox if they’re everyday options. If your child loves a cheese and tomato sandwich every day, that’s fine. 

  • Fussy eaters often don’t like their food touching. Using bento style lunchboxes, small containers or silicone muffin cases can help to keep food separate.

  • Fussy eaters often have a very small list of foods they like. Try to keep their lunchbox new and exciting so they don’t get bored of these foods. We know this isn’t always easy. 
  • Keep the lunchbox colourful! Why not try our rainbow vegetable kebabs? 
  • Make sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters – who wouldn’t love an animal sandwich? 
  • Surprise your child with stickers or smiley faces on their fruit. 


Kid's Choice


Project Partners

SWAP IT was developed by NSW Health and the University of Newcastle. Implementation support provided by the following partner organisations as part of externally funded scale-up trials:

Whilst brands may be depicted in these images and videos, SWAP IT and Good For Kids has no affiliation and do not endorse any specific food brand. We do not warrant that the information we provide will meet individual health, nutritional or medical requirements, or individual school policy.

Artwork: "The heart of a child" by Lara Went, Worimi Artist.