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parents panel

Parents Panel: What's one thing your child just won't eat?

Meat? Banana? Anything depending on the day? How our panel are negotiating the world of food.

AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

This week, we asked our panel about that reliable conversation topic among parents…

What’s one thing your child just won’t eat?

Here’s what they had to say…

Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

Non-millennial carbs: Clíodhna is a great grubber at 15 months and eats almost everything except potato. She is the true child of millennial parents instead preferring sweet potato, couscous or quinoa!

- Ríona Flood

A lot of things, and it worries me: Ellie Mae is an awful fussy eater. It is a nightmare trying to get her to eat anything. I have even brought her to the health nurse over it. She has her few things that she eats and that’s what she will stick to and won’t eat anything else. She won’t eat cereals of any type, and I have bought her them all in the hope of finding one that she will eat. Eggs, meat, rice, all vegetables except carrots… the list is endless.

I have tried every trick in the book to get her to eat but I can’t forcefeed her. It’s not just at home that she won’t eat, its when we are out and about, visiting and at creche. It is worrying, because at three years of age she should be eating everything.

- Denise Cumiskey

It varies by the day: Thankfully we haven’t yet found one food they all won’t eat and in fact they are all very good eaters, but they can be contrary and what was today’s favourite food can be tomorrow’s least favourite!

- Ross Boxshall

Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko / Evgeny Atamanenko

Milk: There are only a handful of things Tymek won’t at least try but drinking milk is the one thing he cannot do. He has it in the porridge no problem, he loves cheese and yoghurts but when he tries to take a sip of milk it immediately comes back.

- Marta Lisiecka

Each to their own:  My kids are really good eaters, but they do have their dislikes too. I have always offered them a massive variety of foods since weaning, to encourage a varied and well developed palate. Thankfully they each only have one or two things they flat out will not eat. For Rosie it’s anything from the sea, Rhiannon will not tolerate bacon or any meat with “white bits” (fat), Malachi hates avocado and tomatoes, and Brendan doesn’t like curry. They also share a mutual dislike of chillies. That’s about it really, I’m very lucky they all love to eat abundantly.

- Susannah O’Brien

Any vegetable… that they know about: For all of them, it’s anything that grows out of the ground. A vegetable of any kind gets pushed away. So what we do is we blitz all the veg in a Nutribullet and make sauces for our dinners out of the veg and some water.  They get the goodness without the sight of the vegetable.

- Alan Dooley

Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko / Evgeny Atamanenko

Anything too cold: We’re sort of still at the point with food that Charlie will gobble something up one day, then turn his nose up the next, then be interested again the day after that! He is overall a good eater and hasn’t outright refused anything (that I can think of) without going back to it. Sometimes turns his nose up at meat (even though he has a full set of teeth) or anything too cold.

- Kait Strickland

Banana… until now: When our son was younger, and starting on solids, he never liked banana. So many recipes say to mash up banana, babies love it etc. But not for our guy. I thought about it, and I really didn’t blame him!  Banana, especially mashed up, is a really weird texture. It also has quite a strong taste and smell.

So on and off we’d offer him banana, for a couple of years. As we did baby led weaning, we always just let him choose what to eat or what not to eat. When he was about 2.5 years old, he just started eating them on his own. Now he has one almost every day and loves them – he also loves banana ice cream!

- Olly Keegan 

Help! Am I being unreasonable? We’re looking for parenting dilemmas from our readers for our Am I Being A Bad Parent? feature. Drop us a line with your reader dilemma on

And want to win a two-night family getaway with a day out at Dublin Zoo or Tayto Park? Enter here!

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