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  • Pleasing the Picky Eater

    How do you get your toddler to try out new food? He/she is such a picky eater, and you feel like you've tried everything! You've tried stories, you've tried enacting cartoon character. You've even tried explaining to them the consequences of not eating a healthy diet but he/she still acts up whenever you take the plate of food near them. It's turning into a power struggle with them- and they're winning!

    So how do you get them to eat the foods that you give without a major battle?Have you ever, instead of trying to force them, tried to find out the reason why they are rejecting the food? It might just help in feeding your picky eater.

    Believe me, food is one battle you do NOT want to fight in a daily basis! You said your child eats nothing. But honestly, he/she would be alive today if that where the case, right? Oftentimes, picky eater is a way of getting mummy and daddy's attention. And clearly, you child's 'I dont't eat anything' game plan has been working in their favor thus far. While some want to eat only their favorite stuffs, other just come up with various excuses for not eating and start messing up the place by throwing around.

    Even though your child may not be eating as well rounded diet as you would like, as long as your child is growing normally and has normal energy level, there is probably little to worry about. Remember that early childhood is a period in their development where they are not growing very fast and doesn't need a lot of calories. You can consider giving your child a daily vitamin if you think he/she is not eating well.

    Below is a list of ways in which you can try to coax your toddler:

    - Since toddlers are apprehensive about eating new food, what you can do is introduce a new food together with a food item that he is already used to.
    - Offer interesting looking healthy meals. Present them with an assortment of food items and let them take their pick. You can use a different assortment at each meal time. This way, you'll get to know quickly what type of food he prefers and you can plan his meals accordingly.
    - A toddler cannot eat a lot of food at a single time. So, keep an appropriate time interval between meals. Ideally, let them eat two proper meals and include some snacks in between.
    - Use cookies cutters to make things like sandwiches into interesting shapes & make “milkshake” using real fruits. Toddler also think that immersing foods in a tasty dip is pure fun too (and delightfully messy).
    - Get your toddler to involve in grocery shopping so as to keep them constantly interested in food.
    - Rules are not really the best way to get your toddler to eat their food. Rules like insisting them to finish their meal, eating without a mess and forcing them to finish the food even they doesn't like it, are probably the most unsuccessful ways to get them to eat. Instead, comment how much they have eaten, ask them to help you out during meal preparation. They'll enjoy it and will realize that eating can be a fun experience too!

    All these things will help take the anxiety out during mealtime, and hopefully make it a more enjoyable eating experience for everyone. If you think your toddler is not getting proper nourishment and is not growing up at a normal rate, please consult a paediatrician.

    Ai Shan

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