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How to deal with fussy eaters

How to deal with fussy eaters
September 11
06:44 2014

These days, most, or we could say all the kids are extremely choosy when it comes to their meals. Their picky eating habits make mealtimes more about tantrums and screaming. In such instances, it is natural for parents to worry about their child’s health and growth. It is obvious for parents to worry  whether their child is getting enough food. Nevertheless, it is also true that toddlers do not starve themselves to death. Don’t worry about what your child eats in a day or if they refuse to eat everything on the plate. As long as your child is gaining weight and is active, then they are eating enough, even if it may not seem like it to you. Moreover, here is some good advice to overcome your nutritional neuroses.

How to encourage your kid to enjoy their food:

Food not only works as a human fuel, mealtimes are also a social activity. Family meal table is also a nice place to make your kid learn good eating habits and table manners. In addition, eating together teaches your child the importance of family and they learn to enjoy good food. Generally, kid’s find food served on the Mom or Dad’s plate more tempting than what is served on his or her own plate, even when the same meal is served on all the plates, and when dealing with a fussy eater you may find this technique helpful in making your child eat something.

Important aspect of eating together is presenting an example- how you are eating your food and enjoying the meal with the whole family, (remember to look like you are actually enjoying your meal). In some families, not everyone can be present on the dinner table always; in such instances, you can try to have family meals when possible like weekends. Sometimes, it is also okay to have meals in front of the TV. Just make sure that you don’t get carried away, try to ensure that someone (you, the dad, nanny etc.) engages with your child as they eat.

You can also invite other children around so they can eat together. By giving your child example of other kids, “see how well, Tanisha is eating her rice” will encourage your fussy eater to take a spoonful in his/her mouth.

Some food facts:

  • Toddlers have small stomachs- about the size of a small fist
  • Kids don’t have cravings for a huge variety of foods and generally prefer to eat same things every day.
  • A cold meal can be as healthy as a hot meal- fruit, veg, cheese, bread etc. also make a healthy meal.
  • Including fat in your toddler’s diet is also important. At least 30% of toddler’s calories should come from fat (not particularly chocolates, of course)
    Protein intake should be at least 16g in a day
  • What to do if your child hardly eats anything:
  • Try to serve iron rich foods and also foods rich in Vitamin C, such as veggies or fruits or fruit juices. Vitamin C is important because body needs Vitamin C to absorb iron.
  • Serve same food to your kid as the rest of the family, but remember to keep it less spicy.
  • Serve small portions and admire your child for eating, even if they don’t finish everything you served.
  • If your child denies to eat the food, don’t force them to eat. Just keep calm and take the food away with you. Kids generally ask for food when they feel hungry.
  • Be patient if your child eats slow
  • Maintain the gaps between the meals; don’t give too many snacks especially snacks that are hard to digest. You can limit them to a milk drink and fruits for example.
  • Don’t use food as reward. Your child may think of desserts as nice and vegetables as horrible. Instead, reward them with a bedtime story or play a game with them.
  • Serve new foods along with foods your child already likes – for example, a piece of broccoli alongside some mashed potato.
  • Children also find it hard to distinguish between thirst and hunger, so it is important that you make sure that they eat meals on time, as well as keep the water intake proper.
How to make your child eat veggies:

It is extremely common for young kids to develop a dislike to veggies. But, providing vegetables in each and every meal is very important, no matter whether your child likes them or not. Toddlers try various tricks to skip veggies from their meals, but you are certainly smarter to understand their tricks and convince them to eat their veg. You can try these tricks:

  • Eat up your beans with excitement
  • Tell them you so badly want the carrots served on their plate as they taste so delicious
  • Try fast-eating vegetable content
  • Try role-play, spoon being an airplane or train going in to a tunnel, which is your kid’s mouth.

You can easily try all of these, as some kids are easily fooled. You can also ask them about their choice, that whether they want to eat a carrot or cucumber or how about broccoli for the dinner, this might help, as it will give an impression that you are preparing meal especially for them, according to their taste.

Serve vegetables in other forms:

If the above mentioned tricks fail to make him/her eat veggies, some culinary concealment may help.

Grated or boiled and mashed carrots can be added in all sorts of meals
You can also offer the veggies as snacks if your kid is feeling really hungry before dinner and make sure you don’t give them a choice. When vegetables are the only choice, they are forced to eat them up.

How to make your child eat fruits:
  • If your toddler doesn’t like fruits, then you certainly have to try some concealment strategies or use your cookery skills to make him/her eat fruits. Milkshakes can be a good way of disguising fruits; you can make milkshakes using strawberries, mangoes, bananas and more. This won’t only work for children who don’t eat fruits but also for those who don’t drink milk. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to prepare a thick shake that is hard to resist.
  • You can also give fresh fruit juices, juices are better than no fruit at all. Fruit juice also have sugar and are not good for teeth, but a glass a day is good start for kids who refuse to eat fruits.
  • If nothing seems to work, then you can even consult your doctord. But, remember not to make dining table a battle ground. Try not to scream, rather convince them to have their meals properly and try using these tips.

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