How to Deal with Your Fussy Little Eater

It’s meal time, but your toddler refuses to eat and even petulantly pushes the food away. If this scenario is familiar to you as a parent, you may have a fussy little eater on your hands!

So, what are you to do? Well, the first thing not to do is force feed him or her, which may make the situation worse. The last thing you want is to pressure your child into finishing a meal he or she isn’t interested in eating anymore. And don’t fret. This could simply be a sign that your little one is trying to assert independence by choosing what not to eat especially when you have dangled unfamiliar foods. With patience and time, your child will outgrow this phase. However, in the meantime, here are 5 ways to appease your finicky little one.

1. Introduce new foods gently

When it comes to introducing a new food that your toddler hasn’t eaten before, try giving him or her a tiny bite first instead of a full portion. This way, our little one will not feel overwhelmed and can slowly accustom his or her taste buds to it.

What if your child starts picking out the food, or worse, throwing a tantrum? Try not to react. Instead, take the uneaten food away without commenting as reacting may further encourage your toddler’s behaviour. Just remember that it may take a while before your child is willing to try a new food. So don’t be discouraged!

2. Reward for trying

Incentivising your toddler for trying a new food with a snack he or she enjoys is one way to fuel your child’s interest for that particular food. You can even do up a fun chart and trace your child’s progress in eating something new during meal time. Along the way, your child might discover new dishes he or she won’t mind eating regularly without any pressure!

3. It’s all about balance

When a growing child refuses to eat certain foods, he or she may be missing out important nutrients in his or her diet.

For instance, if you little one hates the taste of fish and doesn’t eat them, it may mean that he or she isn’t consuming enough vitamin B12. One way to counter this would be to find healthy food replacements. You can try swopping fish with food sources that are rich in vitamin B12 such as milk, fortified cereal, or even Swiss cheese!

Another alternative would be to try a supplement such as BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken with Vitamin B Complex. Fortified with Vitamin B complex, each bottle contains essential water-soluble vitamins that aid in Amino Acid metabolism and cell division.

4. The art of presentation

We eat with our eyes first. So, it’s hard to say no to a well-presented dish. If the meals you cook for your little one look consistently dull, uninspiring and lumpy, he or she will start to think they taste exactly that.

Spend more time in the kitchen creating interesting shapes or pictures when preparing your child’s meal. You’ll be surprised at the difference in your child’s response when the food is finally presented before him or her!

5. Hide the veggies

Want your little one to eat his or her greens? Here’s an old trick in the book but an effective one. Sometimes, the only way for your toddler to munch on veggies is to sneak them into his or her food. By throwing in diced root vegetables into your delicious pasta dish or adding leafy vegetables into their daily fruit juice, your little one will still be able to consume vital nutrients and vitamins.