Almost every mother has one complaint that her baby does not eat well. What can be done?
Meal time is a stressful time for most parents nowadays. Kids just seem to resent routine home based food, and at the same time relish junk food and eating out. So in most cases fussy eating is more of a habit/ behavioral problem, rather than a medical cause.
So how do we get our fussy eaters to eat healthy ?
Here are few ideas as to how you can make meal time interesting for kids. Ask your kids to help you when you are preparing meals. Even little ones can help you with sorting vegetables, carrying small utensils etc. Try to make food look appealing to kids. Experiment with variety, colors, size , shapes and texture.
Meal time should be a family affair, with no distractions. Switch off the tv, and put down your phones and i-pads. Set an example for kids by eating healthy yourself.
Offer fussy eaters a choice of foods from which they can choose. Encourage them to try new foods. Serve small portions initially and offer more later.
Discourage all-day snacking, though it may be tempting for you to keep offering your child snacks in between meals.
It is of utmost importance to have patience. Never force feed your child, it will create aversion for food. Imagine how you would feel if someone puts food forcefully in your mouth , kids hate it equally. Don’t worry much if your child misses a meal of two. Chances are that your child will eat once he/ she is hungry.
There is no magic medicine or tonic which can be given and your baby will start eating. We have to make effort, do things differently and be patient and most importantly do not be over obsessed with feeding of your child.
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Dr Rahul Varma / Dr Smitha Sairam