Picky eaters are defined as those who consume an inadequate variety of food by rejecting a good amount of familiar and unfamiliar food. Unfortunately, this problem has reached alarming levels. Initially, mothers feel proud that they are taking good care of their child by meeting all the demands. However, if this issue is not addressed in time the problem becomes a severe behavioral problem, and the nutrition and growth of the child suffers. They pick up frequent infections from daycare and school.
Children can develop picky eating habits due to several reasons. These factors include being sensitive to taste, smell and texture naturally, picking up on the eating habits of their parents. Usually, picky eaters are more inclined towards bland comfort foods such as french fries, cheese toast, and crackers. For most of the part, they don't mind eating salty and sweet foods. OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Archana Kher, Consultant Pediatrician, Manipal Hospital, Kharadi-Pune, to know about important tips to handle picky eaters.
Tips for parents to handle picky eaters
According to Dr. Kher, some important tips for parents to handle picky eaters include:
- Consult a pediatrician for proper introduction of complementary foods from 6 months of age.
-Give the right choice and texture of foods, baby knows to chew the food by 9 to 10 months so avoid mashed or blended foods all the time.
- Keep adequate intervals between meals.
- Feed the child when hungry and not by the clock.
- Avoid over-attention and force-feeding.
-If the child rejects the food, do not give multiple other options.
-Watching TV and mobile helps Initially but very soon turns into an addiction and the child refuses to eat.
- Growth monitoring and consulting a Pediatrician and Dietician are necessary.
- Healthy and correct feeding practices are important in the first 1000 days of life.