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Is your child a fussy eater?

Medikoe Wellness Expert

Medikoe Wellness Expert

  80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   6 min     

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Are you tired of saying, “My 11-year-old is a picky eater?”. Picky eating can be a troublesome food issue to deal with for parents. It's typical for a child's appetite and preferences to fluctuate (just like they are for adults). It's critical to strike a balance between teaching youngsters to listen to their bodies and explore their tastes while also ensuring that they are exposed to a diverse range of meals and are set up for a healthy relationship with food as they grow older. 

Kids need time and space to practise sampling new foods. The idea is to encourage fearless culinary experimentation while avoiding power conflicts and long-running debates about meals and food.

What is the psychology of picky eaters?

  • They start learning to assert their independence

  • They begin to self regulate

  • Their need varies from day to day

  • Definite food preferences are beginning to be established

How to cope with fussy eaters?

Know what you are expected to do and what your child is expected to do. Only do what is expected of you and let the child do what is expected of him. It's essential to be patient and firm. Try and include the following foods in your extremely picky eater toddler’s diet: 

  • Whole grains

  • Sprouted dals

  • Add vegetables to dals, upma and noodles

  • Mix greens in chappati dough

  • Add fruit to cereal

  • Add oats to dosa, chappati or desserts

  • Use honey or jaggery instead of sugar

  • Make one-pot meals like khichdi with vegetables

You decide:

  • What to eat

  • Serve a variety of healthy foods

  • Set a good example by choosing different healthy foods

  • Increase the nutritional value of the dish

When to eat

  • Serve regular meals and healthy snacks

  • Stick to a routine and discourage snacking any time

  • Offer water when a child is thirsty between meals

  • Let your child eat only at meal and snack times

Where to eat

  • Have your child sit at the table

  • Make mealtime family time

  • Parents/caretakers must eat with children

  • The chair and table should be of the correct height

  • Allow plenty of time

  • Encourage self-feeding

  • Do not offer sweets as bribes

  • Accept mess as a regular part of feeding

  • Minimize distractions like TV

Your child will decide

  • If at all he will eat or not eat

  • How much to eat

  • What foods to eat from the ones you offer him (so provide plenty of healthy choices)

  • It is the child's job to feed on his own

Never do this

  • Force your child to eat

  •  Use food as a reward

  • Make a separate meal for your child

  • Lose your cool at the table

Offering new foods

  • Offer at the beginning of the meal when your child is most hungry

  • Offer small portions

  • Praise child for eating even little of the fresh food

  • Be a good role model by trying fresh foods

  • Talk about food

  • How it is made

  • The taste, colour, texture, smell

  • From where it comes

  • Memories related to the food, if any

  • Offer only one new food at a time

  • Offer it many times

You may have to offer food almost 10-15 times before a child accepts it. Do not give up. Keep offering the food to the child. Try to change the way it is made or served.

Tip for fussy eater toddler:

Involve children in making meals, ask them to:

  • stir the batter

  • lay the table

  • shell peas

  • snap the beans

  • count the vegetables

  • Add dry ingredients

  • Mix the salad vegetables

Make food look attractive

  • Using cookie cutters to cut out various shapes of sandwiches

  • Make faces with idli, roti, dosa, sandwich

  • Decorate food with fresh vegetables

  • Add beetroot or spinach to dosa/ chapati to make it colourful

  • Use attractive coloured plates and bowls

If food from one food group is refused, try another from the same food group-

  • Yellow/orange vegetables instead of GLV

  • Curd, cheese, paneer instead of milk

  • Offer praise for eating even little

  • Have a consistent approach by all family members, each time

  • Ensure the child has enough physical activity

Remember, if your child is growing well and full of energy, do not worry about how much they are eating. So do not be anxious. Allow your child to choose from the foods you offer. Be a good role model.

A lot of times, Picky Kids Become Picky Adults. 

This is because they may have had a negative experience with food, like choking. 

In most cases, they grew up with parents who put pressure on eating and made mealtimes stressful. 

How do you deal with fussy eating in adulthood?

Don't overwhelm them with a plate full of new foods. Instead, serve familiar favourites along with one new food they're ready to try. Commit to just a few bites. If they don't like the new food, they'll still have something to eat.

It is essential to fix the fussy eating in your child at the earliest. Here are some recipes for your fussy eater:

Oats Pancake Recipe or Oats Chilla

Ingredients:

  • Two tbsp oats powder (grind 100 percent Organic Oatmeal to a fine powder)

  • One tablespoon of gram flour (besan)

  • Half grated carrot

  • Half finely chopped onion

  • A half teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • Season with salt to taste

  • A half teaspoon of coriander powder

  • black pepper to taste 

  • Add water to make the batter

  • Ghee

Sweet Carrot Rice 

Method:

1. Combine the onions and grated carrots in a mixing bowl.

2. Make a dosa-like batter with the oats powder, grams of flour, and all the masalas.

3. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

4. Using ghee, grease a nonstick Tawa.

5. Heat the Tawa thoroughly before pouring a ladleful of batter onto it.

6. Cook on low heat until both sides are golden brown.

7. Transfer to a serving tray and top with tomato ketchup or jam.

You can add any vegetables of your choice. 

Ingredients

  1. Two peeled and grated carrots

  2. 1 cup rice, soaking for 20 minutes after being cleaned

  3. 3/4 cup jaggery or sugar

  4. 1/2 inch cinnamon stick

  5. Silver almonds (as per choice)

  6. Silver cashews (as per choice)

  7. One tablespoon ghee

  8. 2 cups water

Method

  1. In a kadhai, melt the ghee.

  2. Saute almonds and cashew in it.

  3. Remove the kadhai after lightly browned and set aside.

  4. Add a bit of extra ghee and cinnamon to the same kadhai.

  5. Allow for a minute of cooking time.

  6. Cook until the shredded carrot is soft.

  7. Now pour in the water, and as it begins to boil, add the rice.

  8. Place a lid on top.

  9. When the rice is halfway done, add the sugar.

  10. Give it a good swirl and set aside to cook the rice.

  11. Garnish with roasted almonds and cashews once done.

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Tags:  Food,Healthy foods,tips for fussy eaters toddlers, fussy eater recipes

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