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How to get a Fussy Eater to Eat Healthy Food

How to handle fussy eaters

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Transforming your fussy eater toddler into someone who loves food can be a mammoth task if you have a child like mine who doesn’t even want to taste anything new, let alone eat it. But I transformed my fussy eater into a child who has started eating his greens and a few seasonal fruits. Read on to find out how I made him eat his veggies.

1. Give them everything in a controlled manner

Your kids know that you are the boss and that they will have to follow your instructions but when it comes to food they want to have their way. So the thumb rule here is to give them everything to eat from healthy nutritious food to not so healthy junk food, in a controlled manner. You know your kids love pizza so bake them at home. Add all the vegetables, loads of cheese and voila, your pizza is ready. You can add sausages and salami too for the non-vegetarians, to enhance the flavour of the pizza.

2. Home-made fresh juices are better for them

Does he love juices? Yes? Then why not give your kids fresh fruit or vegetable juices instead of canned ones. Even the fresh juice sellers at the markets use water that may or may not be sterilised. At home you are sure of their quality and can add as much fruits or vegetables as you want.

3. Give proteins in various forms

Generally it is seen that kids are fussy over drinking their milk or eating their pulses; that means not enough protein is going into their growing bodies. Don’t fret—give them cheese. If your child likes toast, smear the toast with cheese and butter and he gets a dose of fat and protein. Apart from cheese, also give them paneer or make flavoured yoghurt at home with fresh curd and some fruits. It will be better than the ones you get in the market!

4. Cereals are also important

Cereals are important and they also add variety as well to your kids’ meals. So let them have a sweetened porridge with milk, roasted oats or cornflakes or Chocos (all the rage amongst kids). You may also give them gram flour halwa or a sweetened semolina dish, both are good for kids.

5. Fruit chat is a good option

Instead of giving him one fruit at a time let him have an assortment of fruits – neatly cut, with some lemon squeezed on top and a sprinkling of black salt. Not only will it taste good, it will also be nutritious and your child will get to eat all the seasonal fruits at one go in the right quantity. Fruit chat is a good option if you want to include fruits that your child generally refuses to eat.


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Swati Nitin Gupta is a journalist with extensive experience in writing for newspapers, tabloids, magazines and online media in India as well as Middle East. She has written on a range of topics, from human interest stories to event coverage to features on topics like fashion, beauty, women, children, travel and general health issues. As an Indian Army officer's daughter, Swati has been been exposed to the various cultures and lifestyles of different states of the country – knowledge of which she tries to incorporate in her writing. Swati also maintains her personal blogs at swatisays.wordpress.com and swati1012.wordpress.com.

3 thoughts on “How to get a Fussy Eater to Eat Healthy Food

  1. Meera

    Hi swati, good tips to address fussy eating, though I still would debate a bit on the TV one :-)

    I think it is also important to understand what makes children fussy eaters in the first place! My daughter is 13 years old now and I cannot claim she is a happy eater, but has come a long way! Reflecting back I think as mothers and given our culture, we tend to be over anxious, try to feed the baby even when the baby shows signs of ascertaining independence, or we are quick to label them fussy. Grandparents /caregivers catering to the child’s can also be another reason. In a survey done in Bangalore a whopping 80% of moms thought their children were fussy eaters compared to some 50% in other countries …so a warning bell there on how mothers approach feeding in children!

    1. Swati

      Yes Meera,

      What you said is true but this was a personal decision because in my case when I say fussy eater I mean a child who does not want to eat healthy food but is ready to snack on unhealthy options like chips, biscuits, or ice creams. Once in a while those things are fine but not always. Initially it was difficult to convince him to taste anything now at least he not only tastes it but also eats it . Of course the TV time is also the meal time and in between he is not allowed to watch TV.


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