How to help your child love eating + How to cope with fussy eating

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In my practice as parenting consultant, I have seen that mothers are most worried about the fact that their babies will not eat.

This worry is fed to them by friends and family while they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

And when they start their babies on solids – they see their worst fears come true.

Their baby hates food and does not want to eat.

In this article I am sharing how you can make your baby love eating. And how you can cope with a fussy eater.How to make babies love eating

Eating ensures survival. So, babies are programmed to love eating.

If you do the following 4 things, your baby will always love eating.

  1. Be excited and happy –

Don’t worry about allergies or choking.

What to do –

Follow the 3 day rule and introduce solids according to the recommended schedule and your baby will be safe

  • Learn about the tongue thrust reflex –

Babies are born with the tongue thrust reflex which helps them with breastfeeding. When they start eating solids, at first this reflex makes them push out the food placed on their tongues. Do not take this as sign that your child does not like eating solids and panic.

What to do –

At first serve the solids in the form of a thin slurry and in small quantities. Be patient and allow the reflex to go away.

  • Give your baby independence and control –

Starting solids is an exciting milestone in independence for your baby. It helps your baby separate from you because they are not dependent on breastmilk.

What to do –

Allow your baby to dip their fingers into the food and feed themselves.

How to cope with fussy eating –

6 months old Asian baby refuse to eat food and crying over feeding time,

Babies love new experiences. And they will be curious and eager to try new foods, if we do the following.

  1. Understand neophobia –

Neophobia is the fear of new things. This phobia is extraordinarily strong in babies. And makes them fear new food. That is why they like to stick to familiar food.

What to do –

Allow your baby to squish the food in their hands, smear it on their faces and so on, to help them become familiar with the food. Then they will automatically begin to eat the food.

  • Offer even textured food –

Babies do not have strong jaws and cheek muscles. Therefore, they prefer to eat things that are even in texture rather than food that has different textures. This results in them preferring the pizza base without the toppings. And roti without dal.

What to do –

Prepare food like the dal sabji mini paratha and the power packed cutlet – to ensure that your child gets all the nutrients in an even textured bite.

  • Never force feed –

Children want to spend all their time playing. They don’t want to waste time eating.

What to do –

Give children nutritious calorie dense food, in small quantities, at frequent intervals. When they know that their meal will be over in 5 bites – they will not fuss.

Happy infant baby boy spoon eats itself

Relax and allow your baby to play and enjoy food for the first six months because at this stage they are getting all their nutrition from breastmilk. When babies have fun eating, they will begin to love eating and you will never have to cope with fussy eating.

By

Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD

Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD is a practicing doctor, a parenting consultant, and the founder of WPA whatparentsask.com She conducts online and offline workshops on parenting for schools and corporate organisations. She also conducts online and offline prenatal and infant care classes. She is a well-known thought-leader in parenting. Her books on parenting are published by Juggernaut Books and she is frequently quoted in national and international publications of repute. She is renowned for her empathetic and compassionate approach to parenting and her application of physiology and brain science to parenting.

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