What are the best ways to handle a fussy eater child?
Are you worried about your fussy eater child's health? Fed up of forcing your child to eat? Please remember a forceful act of anything is never good for anyone. Read this article for a better understanding.
Raising a fussy eating toddler is one of the most difficult situations for every parent. This is the most common food-related struggles of parents. Dealing with fussy habits is not only stressful and frustrating, but the child gets into the habit of tantrums while eating. In addition, it can cause a lack of balanced nutritional intake.
Repeatedly forcing a child to eat is also not a good option, and on the other hand, if you do not see your child eating happily, it makes you anxious. Therefore, you can adopt some easy ways to handle your fussy eater easily, which can make eating time a happy time.
Offer foods at proper intervals
It is usually been advised that offer 'new' foods to a child, but the real struggle is to make a child eat this new food. Hence, it is good to try and serve something new to eat, but make sure it is been offered at proper interval. Do serve some mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, but do not give him anything to eat just an hour before of mealtime. The hungrier the child, the easier it will be to feed him happily.
Take your child to buy food for the family
A practical approach of learning is always helpful in terms of theoretical. This fact is applicable to eating habits also. Whenever a child is been involved in buying, and preparing it, he becomes more excited to eat those vegetables too. Hence involve your child in buying vegetables for the family, preparing it for the mealtime, etc. and you will surely see some good signs of eating.
Do not be strict during mealtime
It is alright if your child is asking for some tomato ketchup to eat with parantha (an Indian dish which is a flat unleavened bread fried on a griddle), or if he is asking for chocolate sauce to top it on plain sandwich. Your ultimate goal is to let him eat happily without forcing him. If your child is willing to try 'that' food with some condiments, let him do so and do not be strict during mealtime. If you become strict for not giving those things, then it can make your child to throw tantrums.
Serve small portions
Not every child is equal in terms of food. Some are good while some are still in progress. Therefore, whenever you serve your child any food, give it in moderation. If your child likes that food, he will definitely ask for a little more. But if you put a large amount in the beginning, your child will be nervous to try it and will show tantrums in front of you.
You may have noticed that your child did not drink that tomato soup one day, when you made specifically by mixing the best ingredients. But still, don't hesitate to try again another day. Sometimes, children enjoy eating foods that they have refused to eat few days before.
Do not offer too much of menu at a single time
Always keep your chid's menu simple. Do not serve him a platter as this can make him confused about what to eat and what not. Furthermore, your child may not enjoy his food completely because he may not eat everything whatever is been offered to him. Just a simple food (as per the age), which he can eat and enjoy, is sufficient for him.
Do not force your child to eat
We often believe a notion that children do not know anything about eating therefore feed them forcefully even if they say 'no', because they may be still hungry. If you also believe such things, then please stop it immediately. As a matter of fact, children are more smarter than their parents, and they know well how much is to eat. So if you think that forcibly feeding can help a child to get possible nutrition, then you're absolutely wrong.
When a child eats happily, it is beneficial for his health. Forcibly fed food never helps a child's health. - Lovely Tiny Things
Do not give much attention to your child's fussy eating habits
Surprisingly, kids understand when their parents are worried for them. Hence when they see that parents are getting worried because they are not eating well, they start doing it more. Therefore, leave them if they are not eating. Do not show much attention to their fussy eating habits, as sometimes this attention acts as a motivator of such poor eating habits. Do not pamper them even by showing 'aeroplane is coming like zoooooom with a spoonful of meal' or 'see how the cat looks', etc. These repeated kinds of gesture makes them habitual due to which they don't eat by their own, if someone is not there to entertain them.
Do not preach them 'always' about the goodness of vegetables
Hearing always about the goodness of vegetables, fruits, etc makes a child fussy. Do not say much about the vegetables. Just serve it with some creativity which catches the attention of your child. For example, cut the sandwiches in star shape, make chapatis for your child in some funny shape, heart shape, etc. This kind of efforts brings out some positive outcome rather than preaching your child about the goodness of eating vegetables every time.
No matter how much you talk good about the vegetables, or fruits, it is only your child's will which is going to act upon his eating habits. - Lovely Tiny Things
Lastly, to sum up, do not expect that your child will eat that food only which you want. It will be like 99% opposite of it. Hence, do not force your will and desire on your child's eating habits. It's okay if he wants to eats sweet porridge instead of salty one. Furthermore, this fussy eating habit is just like a stage of a child development. It is not going to remain forever with your child. However, you have to be sure that you serve different foods which are not only nutritionally healthy, but also looks very attractive. :)