“Eww!!! I don’t like greens mom”. Vegetable soup is for the oldies. Is your kid only interested in playing rather than eating? So mommies do this sound like your kid who is a picky eater? How do you deal with your kids when they fuss around with their food? Here are some very useful Diet tips and Indian Diet plan for fussy Eaters ( pre-schoolers and school going kids ).
We all know what is healthy and what is not. But how can we help picky little eaters to eat what you cook without leaving any leftovers? Let’s see how we can help kids eat all the healthy food without throwing any tantrums.
Diet tips and Indian Diet plan for Fussy Eaters
Let us start with some Diet tips for fussy Eaters.
Diet tips for fussy eaters
Know your child’s appetite:
Mothers generally force kids to complete their food without knowing the child’s appetite. It is very important to know the child’s appetite. Knowing the child’s hunger – quantity and timings helps you to determine the timing of the meals and its quantity. If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force a meal. Do not bribe a kid to finish the food. This worsens the struggle over the food. Serve small portions and give the kid opportunity to acknowledge his hunger and ask for more food.
Set a good example:
Parents are the people who their kids look up to. If parents eat what is cooked without any fuss, the kid will also follow the suit. If you prepare healthy stuff at home the kid will form a habit to eat such food. Try and include healthy options in most of the meals in a day.
Set a routine:
Serve meals or snacks at about the same time every day. Do not serve any small snack in between just because the child has skipped the meal. This decreases the appetite of the child during the actual mealtime. The best option to offer anything in between the meals is plain water.
These days we see how kids are hooked up to cell phones, televisions, or tablets. They are so obsessed with the gadgets that they refuse to eat without using those. Thus, from start the habit of watching television while having meals should be discouraged. Minimize distractions as much as possible. This helps kids to focus on eating. They will be more attentive to their hunger and food is eaten. If the whole attention is on the gadget in front, kids are unaware of their hunger, and food is eaten.
Patience is the key:
Children are a bit skeptical to try new foods. They will first see, smell and taste a very small bit and judge the food. Repeated exposure to new foods helps the kids develop new tastes. Generally, this happens with new vegetables or fruits that you introduce in their diet. The parents need to be patient with the kids. Forcing to eat will make the matter worse and the kid might not touch that food again. Introduce food giving its benefits rather than emphasizing on the smell and taste. Accompany these new foods with the foods the kid likes. This helps them to accept new food easily.
Do not give in to your kid’s food tantrums:
If your child doesn’t eat what you prepare avoid making other dishes for the kid. If you make another dish, this will worsen the picky eating behavior of the kid. Try to have family meals where every member of the family is at an eating table eating the same food. This helps kids to accept the cooked food easily and eat without fussing around. Remember the first 2-3 days will be tough, but eventually, things will get better.
Make the food interesting:
Try to cut salad and vegetables in different shapes. Use cookie cutters for different shapes of roti or parathas. Serve salads with kid’s favorite dips or sauces. Keep the plate full of colors. Experiment with different combinations and tastes. Serve the most disliked food with innovative modification. For example, serve broccoli on a barbeque skewer and serve it with mayo or cheese dip
Involve your child in the process of cooking:
You can involve the kid from the start of the cooking process. Ask them to select the vegetables and fruits they want to eat. Ask them to wash the vegetables or peel if the age permits. Prepare the meal in a play method including kids in the cooking process. This encourages the kid to eat the food as they themselves have helped to prepare it.
Don’t offer food as a reward
Withholding or rewarding any food sets the message in kid’s minds that the food is the best food. Generally, this happens with desserts or chocolates. This increases the child’s desire to have such foods. We Ourselves make these junk foods important by using them as rewards. This leaves an impression on the child’s mind and they think these are special food.
Include these foods but avoid giving much importance to such junk or desserts. This changes the perception of kids for junk food or desserts. Even when you include such not so healthy options try making it more nutritious and healthy as possible. Try to include more nuts and less of butter or replace mayo with curd or yogurt. Include natural sugar like dates instead of refined sugar.
Diet tips and Indian Diet plan for fussy Eaters; Sample diet plan
Ok , so here is a sample diet plan for picky eaters . The foods included in this diet plan are specially for fussy eaters. The variety will keep their interest in food up as well as provide all the needed Nutrition.
Sample Indian Diet plan for fussy eaters
Breakfast: 1 glass Mango Smoothie (milk or curd + mango + 1 tbsp Oats + 1 tspn sugar) . Serve in a tall colorful glass with a straw
Mid-morning: 1 cup Fruit Custard (variety of fruits + custard powder 2 tbsp in 1 cup milk) serve in a colorful bowl. OR
2 egg omelet or 1 boiled eggs salad or 1 cup Fruit plate
Lunch: 1- 2 medium-size Star-shaped Stuffed Paratha (any vegetable stuffing) + 1 cup Pineapple Raita. OR
2 small Chapati + 1 cup vegetable + 1 cup curd ( Use colorful Plates with prints of the cartoon )
Mid Afternoon: Fistful roasted soya or sunflower or pumpkin seeds or nuts or 1 Fruit
Snack: 1 glass Milk + 1 medium-sized moong dal pizza with veggie topping (moong dal chilla with veggie)
Dinner: 1 cup Vegetable Pulao + 1 cup Soup / 1 cup curd
Bed-time: 1 cup dry fruit milk or elaichi milk ( give 10 almonds)
Once your kids start eating well, check this article to plan out a healthy nutritious diet for him/her – Indian diet plan for toddler
Hope with this article about Diet tips and Indian Diet plan for fussy Eaters, we could clear a bit of your tension. Try and understand your kid’s hunger, likes, and dislikes. This helps to improve kid’s nutrition and avoid fussy eating. Try and record the type and amount of food the kid is eating. This helps to determine any problems or ways how to tackle them. Be patient. The child’s like or dislikes won’t change overnight. It will take some time. Be it a small step towards health, but it will make a huge difference for healthy living in the future.