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Recently I gave the keynote address at the 2010 Australian Family Child Care Awards, which were sponsored by Australian Family magazine. The main topic of the talk was fussy eaters. The NSW Minister for Community Services, the Honourable Linda Burney, MP was present. At the end of my talk she commented to me that the message she will take from my talk is ‘nothing in between’. What did she mean by that?

One of the best ways to encourage children to eat is to ensure they come to the table hungry. They won’t be hungry if they are snacking throughout the day. Children do, however, need to be offered food five times a day, at breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. But nothing in between those times. So if your child has had morning tea, they don’t need anything until lunchtime, even if they ask for food. The appropriate response would be “ we’ve had morning tea and will be having lunch soon”. Even eating healthy foods such as fruit and crackers provides calories/kilojoules and will affect how hungry they are at the next meal.

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