Fussy Eating: How to Make Kids Eat
Is your baby not eating food served to them? Is your preschooler pushing away the spoon and turning his head away from the food? Is your child picky about certain foods? Looks like you are dealing with a fussy eater.
What is fussy eating?
To start with defining fussy, it is characterized by an unwillingness to eat familiar foods or to try new foods, and kids not eating food given to them.
How to deal with fussy eaters?
Don’t worry, fussy eating is a common behavior seen in many preschoolers. The reasons for your baby not eating food depends on factors like feeding styles employed by the mother or the caregiver, the influence of family, and the personality of the child can lead to the development of a fussy eating behavior.
Understanding Behavioural Pattern of a Picky Eater
- Refuses to eat foods of a specific texture or color.
- Scared to try new foods, stops eating familiar foods or eats selective foods only.
- Has special food preferences and preparations and may completely avoid certain food groups such as fruits and vegetables.
- Prefers other activities to 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.
Tackling Fussy Eating and how to make kids eat?
- Snacking should be avoided just before meal time. It’s best to let your child snack a few hours before meals.
- If your baby doesn’t eat, give them 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.
- How to make children eat on time? Have a structured mealtime. Make sure they are active and engaged throughout the day. Keep a check on their appetite and give them company when they eat.