Is your preschooler pushing away the spoon & turning his head away from the food? Is your child picky about certain foods? Looks like you are dealing with a fussy eater.
Don’t worry, Fussy eating is a common behavior seen in many preschoolers. Factors like feeding styles and practices employed by the mother or the care giver, as well as the influence of family, and the personality of the child, etc lead to the development of a fussy eating behavior.
Understanding Behavioral Pattern of a Fussy Eater
- Refuses to eat foods of a specific texture or color.
- Scared to try new foods – Stops eating familiar foods - Eats selective foods only.
- Has special preferences for certain foods and preparations and may completely avoid certain food groups such as fruits and vegetables.
- Prefers other activity over eating.
- Slow eating and low enjoyment of food, leading to lengthy meal times.
- Is distracted while eating.
How will this impact my child’s health?
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 snack a few hours before meals.
- Give your child 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.