Tackling fussy eaters

HELPING THEM CHOOSE Children can try adult food after they turn two

HELPING THEM CHOOSE Children can try adult food after they turn two   | Photo Credit: Photo: Nagara Gopal

Encourage your toddler to eat without a fuss

From the age of two, a child should eat what the adults in the household are eating. The child will need some help with a spoon and a ready napkin, but that is about it. Many parents corral the child one-to-one with a bowl of food: this results in a lot of stress for the parent, and a lot of stupid, boring stories about the moon for the child. According to nutritionists, a better way is to have the child sit at the dining table with the rest of the family and try food in a non-threatening force-free zone.

Family meals

Make time for family meals: a family that eats together has a better chance of inculcating acceptance of adult foods in the child. Children have a natural tendency to try the foods their parents are having, so here is one more reason for parents to choose healthful foods: low salt foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats and so on.

Nuts and meat represent a choking hazard at this age, but avoiding them is not necessary.

It is all right if the child insists on having a favourite food: offer bite-size portions of healthful foods on the plate along with a serving of the favourite food.

Do not bribe

Do not offer bribes like chocolates, a favourite TV programme or soft drinks. Since a child’s stomach is too small to run on three meals a day, snacks are essential at this age.

Choosing healthy snacks is very important: fruit, low-fat milk, nuts, unsweetened fruit juice, low-fat cheese and low-sugar jam are ideal snacks for children. After a year or so, you can add hard-boiled eggs to the list.


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