Sure shot solutions to make your Picky or Fussy eater child eat healthy food
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On July 14, 2017
Children are generally fussy or picky while eating and till a certain extent that is normal as far as your child is energetic throughout the day and has good immunity and doesn’t fall ill too often, your child is doing fine.
It’s also normal for children to likes and dislikes just like we do and to refuse new foods, and to eat more or less from day to day and it’s also because appetites keep changing depending on their activity pattern and growth. However if you see their his weight dropping down rapidly, falls sick too often and feels sluggish throughout the day, then these are clear signs that he’s not able to optimize his nutrition and thus improve immunity and growth. Statistics report that about 25% of the parents feel their child does not eat well or refuses eating healthy food
Toddlers and pre-schoolers between the age group of 1-6yrs are selective about the foods they consume. However there’s a difference between picky and fussy eaters. But the good news is that children are likely to get less fussy as they get older. So let’s first understand the difference between a picky and a fussy eater.
Picky eaters are very selective about what they eat. They have a degree of “food neophobia”, which is generally defined as the reluctance to eat or even taste new foods. Children with neophobia often reject many ‘new’ foods. This can result in children eating a limited variety of foods. Whereas Fussy eaters on the other hand reject foods that they like one day, but then happily eat them the next day.
If your child is a picky eater these tips will help fix the everyday food battles and make dining times merrier and fun.
- Start your day strong and make breakfast the most nutritious meal for your child. Research says Children who eat a nutritious breakfast tend to make better food choices for the rest of the day.
- Make meal times pleasant and happy times for your child. Let your child try to pick up or choose his own food and do not worry about the spilling of food. In fact encouraging him to indulge in a nutritious meal will help and motivate him to try new foods.
- Let him take independent decisions from a variety of healthy options. Children like to explore their own food choices rather than the ones we choose and force them to eat.
- Keep your child away from distractions like television as it draws their attention away from food and this may lead to loss of appetite.
- Be good role models for your children and so you and your entire family must eat healthy nutritious food. A lot of time parents themselves eat unhealthy and expect the children to eat healthy foods if you eat healthy so will your child and therefore practice what you preach.
A lot of times as a nutritionist we see parents or a particular family member being fussy about food themselves. In that case that’s what children are learning from them. For example when a family member is fussy for instance to consume brinjal and so another vegetable is cooked for him, then the child understands that if he creates a fuss about something, he too will be given options and will inturn not even try new vegetables and start disliking foods that don’t appeal him.
- Involve your child in family lunches and dinners; this will lead to formation of healthy eating habits and children look up to their parents and siblings as role models.
- Do not the reward and punishment policy for food. Don’t treat them over scoring well in an exam or on completing a task. Don’t let them rely on food to get rid of their emotional upheaval rather teach them to understand the importance of food.
Picky eating habits if corrected at a young age will lead to fitter and healthier future. Follow the above mentioned guidelines and see your child bloom into a healthier adult!
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