Time to get real about fussy eating

More than one in four parents give up trying to get their children to eat healthily.



MAIDENHEAD, UK, 19 May 2015 — When you have a fussy eater in the house, it is often a battle to get them to eat healthy foods. A new survey1, by the global nutrition and healthcare company Abbott, shows that more than one in four parents regularly give up trying to get their fussy eaters to eat healthily and, not surprisingly, 63 per cent opt for the 'anything is better than nothing' approach, letting their children have junk food once a week or more as a result. Almost two thirds worry that their child is not getting sufficient nutrients for proper growth (65%).

With fussy eating habits affecting more than eight in ten families across the UK2, parents are looking for more realistic solutions to help them overcome their child's fussy phase1.

Dr Pixie McKenna, GP and mum of one, can relate to the findings; she says:

"The fact that parents worry their fussy eaters are not getting enough nutrients definitely resonates with me. I've struggled with that myself. My daughter's not a great eater and I'm surrounded by people whose children are, or have been, "great eaters" and this adds a certain feeling of pressure. It's natural when your child won't eat certain things – anything green in my daughter's case - to worry that you'll be judged."


Abbott's fussy eating survey1, conducted by YouGov, asked parents of fussy eaters to reveal what's really going on at dinner tables up and down the country. These parents are genuinely concerned:

  • More than a quarter (26%) would like reassurance that they are not alone in having a fussy eater1. Don't worry – they're not2
  • Over a third of parents (34%) said that they would like more advice from other parents who have tackled similar issues1
  • Fussy eating has a knock-on effect on the whole family - more than a third of parents (34%) admit that their children's fussy eating has a negative impact on siblings1
  • The majority of parents (68%) said that their children's fussy eating makes them feel frustrated and nearly half (45%) said they feel stressed1

Along with the new survey, a series of videos that bring to life the ups, the downs and the humour of dealing with a fussy eating child is launched today. The videos capture conversations between real mums as they share their frustrations, exchange advice and reveal how they really feel about the parenting advice from the media, online and even from friends and family.


  • The majority of parents surveyed (59%) said that most advice is too preachy1
  • Two fifths (41%) agreed that most advice is impractical1
  • Over a quarter of people surveyed (27%) claim media advice is 'intimidating'1

General Manager of Abbott's nutrition business in the UK and Ireland, Mike Smith says: "When you're a parent of a fussy eater, everyone has an opinion about what you're doing wrong. That's really upsetting and you dread social occasions where your child's fussy eating and your parenting are under scrutiny. At Abbott, we are firmly on the side of reality, offering practical solutions that work in the real world. That's why we launched PaediaSure Shake and our expert resources on fussyeaters.co.uk, developed with the help of mums who've been there. We want to give parents that extra peace of mind."

Our website www.fussyeaters.co.uk has practical tips and free resources to support parents working to help their kids get back on track with healthy eating habits. For yet more content and realistic solutions, parents can also check out www.facebook.com/PaediaSureShake


1 Data on file. Abbott Laboratories Ltd., 2015 (Parent survey: fussy eaters).
2 Data on file. Abbott Laboratories Ltd., 2013 (Parent survey: fussy eaters).

Notes to Editors

For more information and expert interviews please get in contact.

Our new series of videos featuring real mums talking about how they tackle fussy eating can be downloaded here.

PaediaSure Shake is a nutritionally complete and balanced shake to support children through periods of fussy eating. Packed with vital nutrients (including protein, vitamins and minerals), it is specifically designed for children to ensure they are still getting all they need, even on those difficult days when they might not be eating a wide variety of healthy foods. PaediaSure Shake is available in three flavours: choose between chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. It’s available from most Boots stores nationwide and www.boots.com priced £10 for a 400g tin.

PaediaSure Shake is not a substitute for healthy eating but instead hopes to provide a short-term solution and peace of mind for parents concerned about their child's nutritional intake, as they work towards establishing healthy eating habits as part of an active lifestyle.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 73,000 people.

Visit Abbott at www.abbott.co.uk and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.

  • share Share
  • print Print
  • download Download

You are about to exit for another Abbott country or region specific website

Please be aware that the website you have requested is intended for the residents of a particular country or region, as noted on that site. As a result, the site may contain information on pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other products or uses of those products that are not approved in other countries or regions.

The website you have requested also may not be optimized for your specific screen size.

Do you wish to continue and exit this website?


You are about to exit the Abbott family of websites for a 3rd party website

Links which take you out of Abbott worldwide websites are not under the control of Abbott, and Abbott is not responsible for the contents of any such site or any further links from such site. Abbott is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the linked site by Abbott.

The website that you have requested also may not be optimized for your screen size.

Do you wish to continue and exit this website?