“I love having a picky eater and making multiple meals for dinner”, said no mom ever!!!
Feeding your little angel is always a very tiring process. The struggle between taste and nutrition is a difficult one – and moms need to be creative and try new recipes and tricks to get their babies to eat anything.
As a mom, I’m sure you would have these questions:
From telling a story to distracting with Doraemon and Chhota Bheem – you would have tried everything! But those tiny mouths just won’t open, isn’t it? Mommies, don’t lose heart! Anywhere between 20-50% of kids are identified as fussy or picky eaters by their parents – so you’re not alone in this struggle. Mealtimes can be made a lot smoother and easier with a few tricks and just the right amount of creativity.
Well, let’s face it! Babies grow up on a steady diet of sweet breast milk and that is how they develop a sweet tooth for everything! Go ahead and add a bit of sweet yogurt or some fruit on the tip of the spoon while feeding your baby. You can also mix some sweet fruit puree to food that kids find bland or boring.
In order to develop long-term healthy eating habits, you must ensure that babies focus entirely on the food – and not on the screen in front of them. Distractions like toys, pets, mobile or TV tend to pull away your toddler’s focus from the food. As a result, he ends up eating less. So, let your child develop a healthy relationship with food by saying no to screens.
Are you not more tempted to eat a dish that is well presented? Now, apply the same principal to babies and kids! Make their food look colorful, attractive and fun. You don’t have to be a food artist – nicely arranging cut veggies on a beautiful platter. Make some star-shaped fruits or pancakes or just use really funny straw for his milkshake!
Also Read: 18 Unsafe Foods For Your Baby before 1 year
“Don’t play with your food!” Haven’t we all grown up hearing this? Well, that parenting style is now passe! Well, I am about to tell you not to follow your parents’ advice. You’re raising a Next Gen millennial and if your kiddo is playing with his food – that means he is interested in it!
Don’t you want your child to get excited about mealtimes? What better way than allowing your child to think that food is fun! Use colourful and different utensils to make your child think it’s a new toy he’s feeding himself with!!
Babies sometimes do better when left alone. So, why not try this during meals as well? Think about it – would you always like someone else stuffing food in your mouth? Set their dinner table right next to yours – and give them a small spoon and plate – your baby might just surprise you by finishing it!
Try bribing your baby with her favorite foods. If she likes strawberries, place a bowl of it on her high chair tray and start feeding her the rest of the food. Your little genius is bound to realize that you are not feeding her the strawberries. Then you can explain to her that if she finished her food – she will get to eat the strawberries.
Don’t just stick to a particular kind of food. Keep offering your kid new foods with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Unless they discover options, how will they decide what they really want to eat? Eating different kinds of food helps to develop palate and will avoid making your kid a fussy eater.
Just like us, babies also want to be appreciated and encouraged. If your kid tries a new food, give him a warm, wide smile and some words of encouragement. This will make your baby relate new foods to your happy words – hence making it easier for you to feed them!
It is advisable to not give any liquids like milk, juice or shakes to your baby a few hours before mealtimes. Large drinks can reduce your baby’s appetite. This applies more so to comfort breastfeeding – where the baby wants to suckle and feed not because she is hungry, but for comfort. If you keep allowing your child to do this, these small feeds will reduce the appetite for the main meals.
You need to know your baby’s comfortable speed of eating while feeding. Some babies eat quickly while some like to wait a few minutes between two spoons. Make sure you are keeping up with your baby’s speed of eating. It’s a difficult chore that you may like to get over – but rushing your baby won’t help.
Have you tried any of these feeding hacks for your fussy baby? Did they work?
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