Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

It is not uncommon for babies and toddlers to be fussy when eating. Fussy Eating is a common problem in every household that has a baby. Making a baby eat becomes an arduous task especially when the baby is fussy about eating. Studies show that it is not always the food that is given to the baby that makes it fussy. The baby’s state of mind in that the baby may be playing or just woken from sleep all contribute to Fussy Eating in Kids. It is quite common for children to like a particular food one day and completely dislike it the very next day. Some children may not like the color of the food or the taste or texture of it. Introduction of a new food in the diet may also not go down so well with children. This is not a sign that the child is sick but is just a part of normal development.

Another possible cause for fussy eating is the child may not be hungry at the time when you attempt to feed him. It is extremely difficult to predict as to when a baby will feel hungry as the digestive system of a baby is still in the developing phase. The more active the child is the early he will feel hungry. All these fade away as the child grows and by the time the child is two to three years of age, things normalize. Delineated below are some ways to handle Fussy Eating in Kids.

How To Control Fussy Eating In Kids?

The willingness of a child to eat depends on how hungry the child is, the environment around the child, and the overall mood of the child.

  • Make sure that the kid is happy and try and ensure that more people are there around the kid and are playing with the kid at mealtimes. Even if some food or water is spilled by the child, you should not discourage the child but should praise him or her to at least trying a new food item or eating a healthy food item which may not be that good in taste.
  • Do not expect the child to eat all the food that is on the plate. Even if some food is left you should not feel disheartened as with the next meal your kid may eat up the entire plate.
  • Try and distract the child by showing him or her pictures or his or her favorite cartoon and then try and feed the child as when the child is distracted he may not even know how much food he has eaten and he ultimately finishes up the entire meal.
  • Do not try and force the child to eat as it may lead to vomiting of food. Also do not give in to fussiness as if you do so it will only encourage the child to be more fussy when eating the next day
  • In cases where the child feels uncomfortable around people while eating then you can take the child to another quiet room to feed.
  • Another way to Control Fussy Eating in Kids is by way of telling stories while the kid is eating. This will distract the kid from food and pay more attention to the story which will allow the kid to complete the meal without any fussiness.
  • Try and change the menu of the child every other day such that the child gets acclimated to different tastes and starts enjoying them.
  • Sometimes giving in to the demands of the kid is also helpful to control Fussy Eating in Kids. If the child does not like a particular food then try and avoid giving that food to him or her even though it may be nutritious. You may have to find another food which the child may like and has the same amount of nutrition in it.
  • If your child is averse to eating anything new in his or her diet then what you can do is mix some amount of new food in the diet and then try if he or she eats the meal. More likely than not, when the child starts eating the new preparation he or she may like the taste and it will make it easier to introduce new food in the child’s diet.
  • Encourage your child when he or she completes a full meal like clapping after finishing the food so that the child feels that he or she has achieved something and will encourage the child to repeat it resulting in getting rid of Fussiness.
  • Try to avoid mixing unhealthy food like chocolate in the meal as it may make the child get attracted to unhealthy foods more than the normal food that is nutritious for the baby.

In summary, Fussy Eating in Kids is a part of growth and should not be taken seriously unless it starts taking a toll on the health of the kid. In such cases, you need to consult a pediatrician as the child may require medications to boost the diet and ultimately control Fussy Eating.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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