Is your Child a fussy eater? Consult Sonali Malik for Pediatric NutritionSonali Malik
Is your child a fussy eater? Tips to provide Pediatric Nutrition
I Don’t Want To Have Milk Today. Can I Have Chocos And Milk Today? No Greens Mom. Can I Have Ice-Cream For Dinner? Chips And Fish, Yum. Broccoli, Ew.
As parents, I am sure you are used to your child’s mood swings when it comes to food-time. Children are in general fussy eaters and it’s common for them to like something today, and hate it the next day. Sometimes they may be welcoming towards new shape, colour and taste. Sometimes they refuse new food and nutrition completely. It’s also common amongst children to grow their taste towards familiar or favourite food and find comfort in that (well that happens with grown-ups too). Fussy eating is part of children’s development. It’s a way they explore the food environment. But during the whole process of pick and choose, as parents you have to ensure that your child is receiving pediatric nutrition – which is fundamental to the growth and development of infants and children. The good news is there are smart ways through which you can let your child be fussy about food while providing him or her proper nutrients. Here’s how –
The power of ‘choosing food’
Now as adults, how we take the ownership of picking our menu and then indulging the same. Let your child indulge too. Give your child the ownership of choosing what to eat. You can provide your child with options (2-3 healthy options) and give the freedom how much he or she would like to eat. This will work as an encouragement for the child to be able to make the decision for himself. Overall this practice will serve both purposes – good nutrients as your options and what to choose as your child’s. Begin with giving your child the option to choose between snacks – bowl of fruits, an apple or orange juice.
Don’t repeat. Do rotate.
Go for the rotation rule to remove monotony. Don’t offer the same breakfast, lunch and snacks two days in a row. Let your child get into the habit of eating something different every day. That way your child will look forward to the meals. He will come to the table with the excitement of ‘what’s the menu today?’ With a rotate menu, your child will look forward to meals and not take it as a chore. If there’s mixed veg for lunch today, rotate the menu for dinner the next day.
Involve your child in the ‘meal making’ process
Often we come across online content where we see kids are getting involved with cooking, baking, preparing meals under the guidance of parents. It is more of a fun activity. It’s best to involve your child in preparing family meals. For instance, ask your child to suggest an item for the lunch menu, or make your child identify which fruit/vegetable is what. Make him active by asking to help you take stuff out of the fridge or place the table before meals or help you with passing herbs – whenever feasible and doable. That way your child will feel proud of helping and be more likely to eat something he has helped to make.
Also Read: 07 Foods to Boost your Work Out Regime
Appreciate with rewards
Punishment is never a solution to treat the course of a child and the same applies to fussy eating. Instead find ways to push rewards as signs of encouragement. And rewards need not be offering unhealthy options, like if you have green veggies for lunch, you can have some ice-cream. Rather make it an activity oriented reward, like if you have green veggies for lunch, you get 10 mins extra play time or hobby time. That way you are offering healthy activity as rewards.
Storytelling or conversation are meal-boosters
Screen times or Televisions are distractions for the fussy eater. Rather healthy conversation and stories can be an encouragement. Start chatting and building conversations – from ‘where you want to go’ to ‘what you enjoy the most’ to ‘what did you learn today’, the topics can be anything and everything. It’s about being together, eating together and sharing tales to each other. Interesting stories help children enjoy meal times better.