Feeding can become a concern when your child is losing weight or not able to gain the right weight at their age. Here are some of the ways you can resolve the feeding challenges for your child.
It is significant for parents & caretakers to avoid force-feeding children by identifying their satiety cues. Most appropriate way to ensure adequate nutrition is to give balanced meals at perfect timing throughout the day.
1. Problem: choosy about certain types of foods
1. Offer finger foods like soft fruits, bread, avocado, pasta, tofu, broccoli, cheese etc.
2. Give your child a variety of foods irrespective of your likes and dislikes.
3. Club a little portion of your child’s favorite food with other foods you want to introduce to his/her diet.
4. Keep adding new foods to the child’s plate, but do not force. With repeated exposure of approx 20 times in a time frame of 2-3 days will create a chance that the child will try the new food. If not, just accept that the child has precise likes and dislikes, similar to adults and this phase of time will be passing and may get better with time. So you can try again back after a few months.
2. Problem: Refusing to eat vegetables
1. Sometimes child avoids to eat green and leafy vegetables. For that you can try white, yellow, or orange non-leafy vegetables like button mushrooms, pumpkin corn, cauliflower, carrots etc.
2. Add vegetables to foods as an accessory, rather than serving on its own, like adding shredded carrots and chopped button mushrooms to spaghetti sauce.
3. Problem: Refusing to chew food properly
1. Parents should watch if their child has the oro-motor skills needed for chewing the food.
2. In some cases children may not chew because they are habitual of eating blended or finely chopped foods. To beat this, increase the food texture or size gradually for e.g. If you are giving porridge which is finely blended you can shift to the porridge which is less blended or shorten the cooking time.
4. Problem: Child takes a long time to eat and keeping food in the mouth (rumination)
1. If your child may lacks oro-motor skills to manage the foods that you are offering. Ensure that the portion sizes are not too excessive. Serve smaller portion and then gradually offer more when your child completes the meal.
2. Minimize distractions during eating like TV, toys, running around, mobile etc
3. Make sure he/she is hungry by not frequently offering snacks, milk and drinks within an hour before the meal time.
5. Problem: Your toddler/child wants to choose his food
1. It is common for toddlers who are around 18 months to become more independent. This includes wanting a say in the foods being offered to them. They become choosy and usually prefer to eat just their favorite food.
2. Parents can try by giving the child 2 options in food, e.g. rice or noodles instead of asking an open-ended question like what the child would like to eat.