By : Apeksha Thakkar Clinical Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Nutrigenomic Counselor

Ways to deal with FUSSY EATERS (AGE 3-5 Years)

As a practicing dietitian for more than a decade, I encounter cases in my daily practice about mothers getting anxious about their children nutrition. Caregivers often request me to help them with some enchanted tonics, which can take care of little one’s immunity and weight; Bid on prescribing multivitamin tonics available over the counter on the prescription letter head has become quite rampant these days.

The most common grumble I hear dealing with paediatric cases, ‘Ma’am I’m trying my level best to feed right nutrition to my little one, but he/she is refusing and not cooperating, I’m losing out on my patience’.

As a healthcare professional, I find this extremely noteworthy to aid certain strategies, by providing required guidance to the mothers to handle fuss eating in compliant ways. Let’s discuss important pointers for the caregiver for smooth, efficient journey towards optimum nutrition.

Prompt starter: : Researches have proven that if the growing child is introduced right nutritionally balanced foods from 6th months onwards, they adapt to the food culture well and style it as their future lifestyle perspective.

Feeding can be fun: : Toddlers are usually sensitive towards shapes and colour of the product, taste is something which they understand about much later. An eye-catching food dish will initiate the optic impression of the child to give an attempt.

Slower the inclusion, better the results: It is advisable to introduce one dish at a time. Providing multiple options at one go will never help the child to make healthy choices. Introduce foods in smaller portions.

Reintroducing fuss ingredient after a while: It is obvious for a little kid to have ‘not so pleasant food or ingredient, it is evident to have preference. Recipes which are not on the kid’s preference list should be kept on hold for a while before reintroducing it in unalike form and recipe.

Picking the right time & mood of the child: It is very important to plan the meal based on the child’s mood. Making sure that the child slightly hungry and not grouchy will create a less fuss.

Patience is wisdom: - Giving up and concluding that child is going to remain fussy throughout can never allow both caregiver and child to have positive reciprocation towards food. Providing with multiple food options will never help the child to eat whatever is served.

Self-feeding to be encouraged: - Self feeding is a habit which can give birth to very flexible, easy going individuals in future. Self-feeding doesn’t leave the possibility to create fuss, as fussiness majorly comes when the child gets enough attention. Leave the child alone with the food and supervising from the distance.

Child Nutrition is the plinth of the nutrition essential for growth and development. Dealing with fussy eaters, and is a normal part of growing. Fussy eating can be used as a period of testing patience; with vested interest in inculcating healthy eating habits and positive attitude towards eating for growing children.

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