20 July, 2016

5 tips to manage fussy eating kids #WritingWednesdays

Fussy, choosy or picky, whatever the name you choose, this is a dreaded word for parents. Feeding kids is a big problem to parents.

Is it a problem with this generation itself ? Or toddlers love play over food?
Did you observe? Toddlers pop everything in their mouth, be it a toy or food that's spilled on the floor but they are not interested in the food served on their plate.

I think, half of my parenting time went on trying different things my kids love to eat and feeding them. I am talking about kids below 3 years of age. I hope, things will get better in future. My both kids are fussy eaters from one and half  years of their age. It was so easy to feed milk and cereal then ☺

I found that the lack of interest in their food is directly proportional to their increased interest in physical play, toys, videos and learning new words and new  skills. Their inclination towards other things is making them less interested in food. They want to eat very less and go back to play. Whatever may be the reason, here are the 5 tips which helped me to be sane while feeding them.

1. Maintaining same meal times every day
This helped me a lot. Breakfast between 8 to 9, lunch between 12 to 1, snacks at 5 and dinner between 8 to 9 pm. I found this to be the best timing that works. By making them eat at the same time every day helped me to feed them quick. It's taking more time to feed them after the set timings with added crankiness due to hunger.

2. Feeding more fruits and encouraging them to drink more water
Water melon, strawberries, and oranges increase appetite and make them feel more hungry by meal time. The increase in water intake also helps a lot. This also keeps constipation at bay, which is the main reason for low appetite.

3. Introducing different food varieties between 6 months to one and half year age
This is very important. If we don't introduce all types of foods at an early age, there is very less probability of them eating all varieties as they grow up.  Please note allergies for specific food if they have and try new food at least 3 times within a few days gap in small quantities even if kid rejects it.

4. Not force feeding
This is not as easy as said. If kid rejects to eat at least 1/4th plate per meal, what will the poor parents do? If not force feeding, the only other option left is giving a gap and trying after some time or trying some other food variety altogether. The most difficult thing here is not losing sanity and having patience. Making their meal time enjoyable is also another part. Dining together as family, reading story books while feeding might help.

5. Giving them proper exercise
Kids should be encouraged to play a long time so that they feel hungry. If they play whole day sitting with toys or watching videos, how will they feel hungry? They should walk, run and play outside. With tab, laptop and smart phones in every home, we are not realizing the importance of physical play. Parents should spend more time with kids taking them to a park or a play area and encourage the kids for free play.

These are some tips which might help to an extent though every child is different and their appetites may vary. There are other tips too which I will share in my future posts. 

Any tips that you follow to feed picky toddlers? Please do share in comments. Also, let me know if any of my tips work for you.

Until next time,


Linking this to Writing Wednesdays hosted by Write Tribe.


PS: Images from google labeled with non-commercial reuse.

18 comments:

Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

A lot of parents I know complain about the 4th one... getting kids to eat when they are not in the mood or don't even consume half of their daily nutritional requirements.
A lot of patients at the hospital too... sadly, not enough is done to counter it.

mahathi ramya A said...

Ya thats challenging Roshan. Giving them minimum nutritional requirements

Satyanarayana Murty Munukutla said...

Nice write up by collecting all tip at one place, we are struggling with same problem.

mahathi ramya A said...

Thanks Murthy. I am glad it helped and I know it's the most common problem with kids these days.

Harmony V said...

I remember this age well. Two out of my four kids were picky eaters and it was so frustrating. You gave great points that will be very helpful for parents with young children. Informative post!

mahathi ramya A said...

Thanks Harmony.

bellybytes said...

Great tips. My grandson ate everything till he discovered the iPad .....

mahathi ramya A said...

Thanks bellybytes. Yes, kids initially eat properly watching videos, the they lose interest on food and show interest on these devices

vishal bheeroo said...

Great tips for parents to make the bond with the baby enjoyable and food a pleasure activity:)

https://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/writing-wednesdays-beliefs-dreams-and-nurturing-hope/

Upasna Life through my Bioscope said...

I found a better way to make him sit at 1 place during food time- I hand him 2 bowls- 1 filled with water. He enjoys spilling it, pouring it and splashing it. I enjoy his meal time :)

Darshana Suresh said...

These tips are sure helpful, I've seen my relatives adopt some of them. Focusing on physical activities will surely make them hungry and wanting for food, it's the best way.

mahathi ramya A said...

Thanks Vishal

mahathi ramya A said...

Upasana, i used this technique too. Worked perfectly for some time.

mahathi ramya A said...

Right Darshana.

Anamika Agnihotri said...

I find the last one most valid. It is essential to give the little ones lots of physical activity time. It increases their appetite and helps them sleep well too. I too had a picky-eater until he turned 5. This year there has been a lot of discussion happening in school around healthy and junk foods and suddenly I found I can make him eat lauki and tinda also just by mentioning they are healthy foods. He has completely given up on ketchup because it is junk and asks me to make chutney for him. For all the parents of picky eaters, there is hope down the line.

mahathi ramya A said...

Good that your kid started chutney. Yes, to all parents of picky eaters, there is a hope down the line.

G Angela David said...

Very useful and informative post, specially for parents who are struggle and worry about kids not eating.

mahathi ramya A said...

Thanks Angela

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