Food and Nutrition

My fussy child and a good diet-How I got these opposites to meet!

Shikha Garg
7 to 11 years

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My fussy child and a good diet How I got these opposites to meet

Is your dinner table a battleground? Do you constantly lock horns with a fussy child!? Making a fussy eater have just one proper meal is a task, let alone ensuring that s/he is eating healthy for his age. So how did I tackle my daughter, who gave me a tough time – Well, I borrowed some tips from friends and family, and invented some of my own strategies too. Here is the best of the lot…

Here’s something that really worked for me… Make a barter with your child: In exchange of something unhealthy, offer some fun and taste (and some nutrients) – and see the results it brings you! When my daughter was just 2.2 years, she came to me and made her first unhealthy food demand: ‘Mama, let’s have golgappas’; at first I was shocked at how early it was for her to get tempted by unhealthy foods, and right then I decided to take a stand:

‘No sweetheart, today we will have a chocolate shake party at home’. Then I invited two of her friends for the party – and put scoopfuls of Horlicks (chocolate delight flavour) to the milk, some ice cubes and gave it a churn; the party was a huge success – and I felt like a real “smart” host/ mom!

One battle won or so I thought, but there were many more that came along. So I changed flavours; next came banana chocolate smoothie – Horlicks, milk plus a banana – perfect!

And as time passed, I came up with more ideas: I realised I could add Horlicks in desserts! So I made custard and kheer (kesarbadaam flavour works really well) fruit cream (classic malt flavour for this one). Trust me, it has really worked – your child likes the taste and you have the satisfaction of s/he getting the nutrition needed for a growing child.

Also, an advice given by a well-meaning friend has stood me in good stead. She said:

‘Don’t run after your child and force them to eat’. Once she is hungry, she will become a lot less fussy, and that is the time to serve up something healthy and tasty. So I started hunting out healthy, nutritious and yummy recipes online. Now I have print outs of easy- do snacks and tiffin ideas and what not! It cuts out the stress of “thinking what to make”. When my child is hungry, I head straight to the recipe library.Here’s another thing my husband and I do: We always talk about healthy foods and their benefits in front of our child. I feel it is important to create awareness in your child between the healthy and the unhealthy. We even talk about specific nutrients like calcium, iron, Vitamin A. For instance, I say: ‘Do you know carrots have Vitamin A? If you want good eyesight and glowing skin, it is good to eat carrots’; or ‘You know chips and soft drinks can make you put on more weight – you do want to fit into all your favourite clothes now!’ I always tell children (my daughter and her friends) as to how fresh fruits and health food drinks can have a positive impact in their life; make them stronger, build their stamina so they have more fun during their outdoor adventures be it trekking or rock climbing!

Once a while every mother makes the mistake of providing multiple meals and snacks to tempt her child to eat. I would say, don’t fall into this trap because once they learn about this multiple-option door, a tantrum isn’t lagging far behind! I have made it a habit to serve my child no more or less than what everyone else is getting on the dining table. Also, get your child involved in the planning and preparing of a dish; most children love cooking or watching their mother cook.

Did you find the tips in Shikha’s blog useful? Will you try some of her tried-tested strategies with your fussy eater – to get more nutrition in his/her diet? Do share (in the comments section below) – and support fellow parents to provide the best nutrition to their growing children.

***Disclaimer:  This is an awareness drive powered by Horlicks to emphasise the importance of micronutrient’s in a child’s diet.

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Zara

| Jul 03, 2017

We should avoid cold drinks and other co2 drinks

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Kalpana Singh

| Jul 03, 2017

good to have shared it

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Nisha

| Jul 03, 2017

We should give importance to micronutrients

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Dr Vipul

| Jul 03, 2017

My child brings a lot of trouble wants to have fast food always

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Nikki

| Jul 03, 2017

Nice and informative

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Anisha

| Jul 03, 2017

good article. Thanks for sharing

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Shalu Gupta

| Jul 03, 2017

my child drinks milk easily thanks to the school

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Pehu

| Jul 03, 2017

What could I do to make sure my child drinks milk?

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Vicas Rajvnashi

| May 19, 2017

My child is just two years old and is showing the signs of being picky eater, how can correct it right here right now. Please help.

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Shalini Dhamo

| May 19, 2017

Nice insight my son is not fussy but very choose his favourite is Idli dosa and paneer I'll try to make new healthy snacks for him for this I refer to cooking books and Internet cooking recipe some time he likes new things and want it again I will make it again for him.

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Priya Rajvanshi

| May 18, 2017

Thankfully my child is not a fussy eater, only while travelling its a challenge. Chocolate flavour shakes can work during travels. Thankyou for sharing information.

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Rukhsaar Khan

| May 18, 2017

Nice Insight.. as mothers we have to stop running after the child to eat...

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sadaf sultana

| May 17, 2017

Plz share tiffin recipes for fussy eater

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