Feeding your little angels can be a big headache and a daily struggle for most of the parents. But with proper approach and patience, it can be done.
Ten salient things which can help you get over it are
- Do not force child to eat. You should respect your child’s appetite. If baby is not hungry do not push for it. Do not bribe your child. Give small portion of feeds and gradually increase the serving size.
- Make a routine and try to stick to it. It helps as child knows that its meal time now and baby is mentally prepared and less anxious.
- It takes time for child to accept new food. Gradually introduce new food, one by one. Books say baby might take 20 times before he or she starts liking that particular food. Introduce one food at a time.
- Make meal time more fun. Cut fruits and vegetable in different shapes and sizes. Even shape of roti can be made like his/her favorite animal. Or can put sauce in various shapes.
- Take your child for grocery shopping with you and ask him to pick and choose what fruit or vegetable he wants to eat in his meals. It will help as child will be very happy to be part of decision making. (obviously holds true only for slightly elder kids)
- Lead by example. Eat variety of healthy foods yourself, child will follow you soon.
- Minimize distractions. (There should be no room for TV or other electronic gadgets in dinning space).
- Do not offer outside food as a reward (A visit to local McDonald outlet should not be a reward or party for something good your child has achieved). By doing this child start thinking that junk food is very good as it is offered as reward.
- Always watch your child when he/she is eating. It is safe that way (to prevent choking in small kids) and children feel happy to share time with parents.
- In case you think that growth and development of your child is not appropriate for his/her age or you have any doubt (or any queries regarding food allergies), its best to consult your child doctor.
“Healthy Kids, Happy family”
Dr Rahul Varma