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 she is eating healthy for her age. If you're wondering when that little child who ate all the carrots and peas disappeared, giving way to the drama queen who "just doesn't like it!" take a deep breath.

Picky eating is a phase (in most cases) and is usually a result of some subconscious behaviors we indulge in. Read on to find out how to get your fussy eater to – well, eat!

Tips To Get Your Fussy Eater To Eat

  1. If he's not hungry, respect it:At 1 PM, because it is time for lunch, don't force your child to eat if he isn't hungry. Check if he's had a filling mid-morning snack. Your child will want to eat when he's hungry – it's basic survival instinct
  2. Don't bribe him with treats: "Finish your sabzi fully, and then you can have the rasmalai!" is a strict no-no. The message you're sending across is that the sabzi is just a boring necessity that he must get through before he gets to the treat. Also, you're just setting the tone for the future, where treats become the incentive for anything that you need him to do
  3. Have a routine: While hunger pangs can strike anytime depending on activity levels, have a general routine, and work out what you can offer at different meal times. However, don't hesitate to mix things up when it comes to the meal itself. So while your child may be expecting dal-chawal, a whole wheat pasta with veggies may spice up things one evening
  4. Don't keep on offering different foods: If your child is refusing to eat any of the dishes you have already cooked and laid at the table, don't make a separate meal for him immediately. It always helps to have a couple of different options, but don't rush in to offer various things in a desperate attempt to get him to eat. When your child realizes that there are always other options, tantrums are not far behind
  5. Make things interesting:Try offering vegetables with different homemade dips, or assign interesting names to dishes and make up a story about them
  6. Don't praise unnecessarily: Praise is best reserved for the really challenging things in life – when he builds that Lego model, or he's learnt to ride his bike. Eating healthy does not warrant praise, and by saying "good boy, you've eaten the aloo gobi" you're again making a desperate attempt at getting him to eat
  7. Involve your child in the preparation: Get your child to break the eggs into the mixing bowl, or peel the boiled potatoes. Children love to feel responsible for a task, and take ownership. When he's contributed to the preparation, chances of him wanting to eat are higher!
  8. Set an example: When you're at the dining table, eat healthy, but don't make a mention of it. You saying "Look, mama is eating the bhindi sabzi" isn't going to do the trick. He might just say, "Oh well, I don't want to." Instead just eat what you're eating and let him be. He will eventually pick up healthy eating habits by watching you
  9. Introduce and be patient with new foods: When you've introduced a new food, don't expect your child to immediately take to it. Be patient, and keep offering it at intervals of a few days. It takes a while for a new taste to grow on a child
  10. No distractions: Don't allow gadgets at the table, and don't eat in front of the TV. Allow your child to be aware of every dish he is eating, what it tastes like and what it contains
  11. Normally every child goes through phases when he is averse to some foods or refuses to eat what is put in front of him. Whether it is a sign of his independence being asserted, or just a trick to get some attention, it will pass if you don't give it too much importance. Keep offering healthy foods, and your child will eat them. However, if you have any concerns about your child's eating habits, weight or allergies, do consult his pediatrician for advice.

    Did you find our tips on getting your fussy eater to eat, useful? Share your feedback with us in the comments section!

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| Dec 08, 2017

very useful I will follow it

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| Dec 08, 2017

very useful I will follow it

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| Oct 21, 2017

very useful

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| Jul 03, 2017

We should avoid cold drinks and other co2 drinks

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| Jul 03, 2017

good to have shared it

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| Jul 03, 2017

We should give importance to micronutrients

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| Jul 03, 2017

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

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| Jul 03, 2017

Nice and informative

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| Jul 03, 2017

good article. Thanks for sharing

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| Jul 03, 2017

my child drinks milk easily thanks to the school

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| Jul 03, 2017

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

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| 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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| 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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| 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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| May 18, 2017

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

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| May 17, 2017

Plz share tiffin recipes for fussy eater

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