Fussy eating is a common behavior in children as they grow. By the time your baby reaches 9-10 months, there is a very good chance that he may start rejecting the food that you have offered till now. If you are a distraught mother, who worries constantly about YOUR picky eater, this post discusses ways to deal with your fussy eater.
Ways to deal with your fussy eater
Source – healthyeatinghub.com.au
What makes your child reject food?
Children keep developing their taste as they grow. Every day brings its own share of surprises. One day you may find your child loving bananas, and the very next day, you may find them – squashing a banana to all its glory! So, what changes?
The most important point to remember here is that your child being a picky eater is normal in young kids. It is a phenomenon that is widespread and almost everyone experiences this in their lifetime. If you think nagging, running behind your child with food, or constantly trying to push a spoon in your child’s mouth – will make your child eat – let me tell you this is going to be counterproductive.
The more you insist or try to control the situation – you push/make your child hate the food in front of him. Keep reading to know about Ways to deal with your fussy eater
As your child grows, they like control. They want to walk, eat, play, sit on their own – it is the same with the food. the more you try to control their food or food patterns – the more you tend to push the child away from food.
Parents are afraid to say NO –
Most parents just CANNOT say NO to their children. In fact, most of them allow their child to eat anything just because “at least he is eating”. This is the most ridiculous notion that I have personally heard which is just not logical. Will you allow your child to eat junk because its OK?
Home Cooked meals are tough
These days there are many stores (online and offline) that sell a variety of baby food that is packaged and ready to eat. Less do we know the actual contents of these store products. Many of these products come loaded with sugar or salt. There are better ways to deal with your fussy eater than letting them eat whatever they want.
Doctors recommend it
It is a sad state of affairs that many pediatricians in our country are not child nutritionists. The result is – they suggest incorrect information or keep the parents in dark. Many parents are still not aware that salt, sugar, and honey should not be included in their child’s diet before 1 year. Many parents are recommended to start biscuits dipped in animal milk from 5 months onwards.
Common Myths around fussy eater
> My child will outgrow of not eating
Many parents are afraid to introduce textures, tastes, and colors early on in their child’s life fearing that child may reject food. It is important to understand it is extremely important for a child to develop a healthy relationship with food right from when they are young.
Instead of a struggle – meal times should be smooth, stress-free time for both parents and kids. The trick is to keep introducing and offering foods that offer a variety of texture, color, and taste. Statistics clearly state that most children outgrow this issue if they are exposed to choices. There are various ways to deal with your fussy eater
> Labeling child as a picky eater
This is seen as a common term for children. Many times children grow through phases when they are growing and they do not want to eat much.
> You were picky and hence your child is picky too
Most elders may say this to their parents to calm them down. The truth is children can like their food provided they are given a choice of food, measure with no pressure. It requires patience for a parent when dealing with a picky eater.
Ways to deal with your fussy eater
1. Make sure your children are really hungry – the number 1 problem that I have personally seen is when parents complain that their child never ever asks for food. This happens when there is no adequate gap between meal times. If you keep feeding your child every 1-2 hours – your child will feel full and is very likely to skip his next meal.
Solution – space your meal times. Keep a gap of at least 2.5-3 hours between every meal. this is probably the best tip I can personally vouch for in Ways to deal with your fussy eater
2. Let them be involved in some aspect of food – It is a known fact, that if children are involved in preparing food process – they tend to get interested over a period of time.
Solution – Ask your children what would they like to have. Take them along to the market to buy groceries. Plan meal times or recipes. Do not force on just having a roti or rice. Mealtime can be any kind of food. Respect their choice of food
3. Sit and eat as a family – Most Mothers spend their time preparing food and then coaxing their child to eat. As mentioned above, if this worked, we would never have any fussy eaters.
Solution – Eat together, as a family. Give your child their own plate and spoon. Initially, they may not what or how to eat, but gradually as they see you, they will mimic you and learn eventually.
4. Don’t bribe your child to eat something – Mothers or elders sometimes try to bribe the children so that they eat or finish their meal. They may offer to bring a chocolate, take them to the park, or take them out for a walk.
Solution – Never ever bribe your child. Instead, model behavior that your child will want to copy. When you eat your child happy, without making faces and saying things like “I do not like this”- your child is most likely to do the same.
5. Your child may need to try a new food 10 to 15 times before he is willing to eat it – Yes, that is true. Every new food takes about 10-15 tries before it is accepted by a child.
Solution – Never stop offering. Keep offering it regularly within a week 2-3 times. Exposure to anything new takes times to sink in – An exposure might be seeing food, hearing you as parent discussing the cooked food, helping cook the food, trying a bite of the food.
6. Feed your children the same food you eat – Many mothers cook special foods for their children. Foods like porridges, oats, puree are good sometimes – but not always. Imagine having the same kind of every day – will you like to eat it?
Solution – Offer variety right from the time your child starts solids. Your child has strong gums and hence can have soft cooked foods right from 6 months onwards. If you are not sure if your child can really chew food, stick to mashed food and gradually move to self-feeding solids by 9 months old.
7. Respect your child’s appetite – Kids by default know how much they need to eat. Do not force/push them to eat one more bite of roti that you made or the kheer you dished out. This disrupts children’s’ ability to regulate their energy intake.
Solution – Offer foods and let your child eat as much as they want. Sometimes they may eat a plate but there may be times when they just 2-4 bites and IT IS OK.
Hoping that you liked the article – Ways to deal with your fussy eater. If you liked this article – do not forget to like, share and comment on Ways to deal with your fussy eater post. Until next time – take care, stay connected with me and God Bless
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