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Fussy Eating: How to Make Kids Eat

Is your preschooler pushing away the spoon and turning his head away from the food? Is your child picky about certain foods? Looks like you are dealing with a fussy eater.

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Don’t worry, fussy eating is a common behavior seen in many preschoolers. Factors like feeding styles employed by the mother or the caregiver, the influence of family, and the personality of the child can lead to the development of a fussy eating behavior.

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Understanding Behavioural Pattern of a Picky Eater

  • Refuses to eat foods of a specific texture or color.
  • Scared to try new foods, stops eating familiar foods or eats selective foods only.
  • Has special food preferences and preparations and may completely avoid certain food groups such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Prefers other activities to eating.
  • Slow eating and low enjoyment of food, leading to lengthy meal times.
  • Is distracted while eating.
  • Introduce unique and interesting homemade baby food recipes for fussy eaters.

How Will This Impact My Child’s Health?

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Children aged 2-5 years have high activity levels and thus, increased nutrient requirements; however, their small tummies cannot accommodate large portions and hence it is important for their meal to be nutrient dense. Fussy Eating leads to lack of a
Balanced Nutrition (vitamins, minerals and proteins) which is essential for the development of the child.

How to Tackle Fussy Eating

  • Snacking should be avoided just before meal time. It’s best to let your child snack a few hours before meals.
  • If your baby doesn’t eat, give them smaller but more frequent meals.
  • If your child rejects a particular food, try giving the same food in small quantities at least 8 times on different occasions.
  • Have a structured mealtime.