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TRIED AND TESTED TIPS FOR PARENTS OF PICKY EATERS

Is your child a “picky eater”? As a parent, feeding a child who is fussy about eating can be quite a challenge.   The definition of a ‘picky eater’ may be subjective but generally ‘picky’ eating is when a child refuses most food often or eats the same foods over and over again. If a child doesn’t consume a nutritious  diet, he/she may develop dietary deficiencies. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician about how you can solve this problem. Or ask a doctor online in any city across Pakistan. 

Now you can get expert medical advice from the convenience of your home by downloading an online doctor app like My live doctors. If you live in Lahore, you can ask a doctor online in Lahore with the app. Registration is for free!

My child ate everything before, but he became fussy as he got older.

Picky eating is a very common phase that children go through. Picky eating usually peaks in the toddler and preschool years. The point of concern for most parents is that their picky eater is not getting enough nutrition to grow. But in most cases, he/she is. This article will highlight some tips and tricks that will hopefully help you deal with your picky eater! You can discuss these tips by asking a doctor online in Lahore or Karachi or which ever city you’re in. 

Picky eating often surfaces around one year. This is when many children are beginning to feed themselves. They explore their choices and use all of their senses when it comes to food and eating. They can now choose what and how much to eat, which gives them a sense of control over. So, you may see a pattern of eating a lot on some days, while not so much on others. 

If, however you feel like your child is not eating much for consecutive days and energy levels have gone down, there may be an underlying medical issue. Take your child to the family doctor. If you’re unable to get an appointment right away, connect to My live doctors and ask a doctor online. If you’re looking for a doctor in Lahore then find a physician online with the app and ask a doctor online in Lahore. Studies show that more than half of patients ‘see’ their doctor for medical advice. It’s not only quick and convenient but cheaper too. 

Why is my child a picky eater?

There are several reasons of why a child may be a picky eater. 

  • Some children are sensitive to the taste, smell, or texture of food.
  • Some children are simply less likely to try new things based on their temperament
  • Some children can seem “picky” because they want to feed themselves
  • Some children are very active. They may seem picky because they don’t like sitting for long
  • Some children have medical issues that make it difficult to swallow or digest certain foods.

What can I do as a parent for my picky eater?

Parents need to be in touch with their own expectations about how much their toddler “should” eat. Wanting your child to eat a large amount of food at each meal is unrealistic. The size of a toddler’s stomach is the same size as their clenched fist.

If you ask a doctor online for advice about a picky eater, he/she will probably tell you that parents’ food preferences are linked to their children’s food preferences. You are more likely to cook food that you enjoy hence are more familiar with. Research suggests that familiarity with foods is key, and a child may need to be exposed to new foods more than 10 times before they try it.

What you can do as a parent when it comes to eating is provide healthy food choices at meal and snack-times. Then children are responsible for what and how much they eat. This helps children learn what it feels like to be hungry and then full, and how to make healthy choices. Here are some points you should consider for the next meal time with your picky eater!

  1. Explore a range of healthy foods. If you explore different types of food as an adult, chances are your child will too. Eat a range of healthy foods and make sure that your own choices are in line with the foods you want your child to eat and enjoy.
  2. Prepare meals together. This might seem like a whole new challenge altogether because all you want is your child out of the kitchen during meal prep! However, having your child pitch in while cooking gets them excited and increases the chances that your child will taste his/her “creation.”
  3. Try new foods in front of your kids. According to a study, mothers who showed (with their facial expressions, body language, or words) that they didn’t want to try a new food had children who also tended to refuse new foods. Children often mirror or imitate their parent’s behavior. 
  4. Introduce new foods gradually. Gently but frequently offer new kinds of foods. Children need to be offered a new food as many as 10-15 times before they will eat it.
  5. Keep your child’s sensitivities in mind when preparing meals. For instance, if your child doesn’t like spicy food, then go easy on the heat. If your child like crunchy food then make sure you have such an item on the plate.
  6. Put new foods next to food your child already likes. If you put a new item on your child’s plate, try mixing it with food that is already familiar to your child. Encourage him/her to touch, smell and taste the food. 
  7. Give food with dips. Try giving healthy dips or sauces on the side with the main meal like yogurt, humus or ketchup. Children have fun dipping the food in them and then licking it. This will encourage them to eat it. 
  8. Give finger foods. Some children like to eat on their own. Give finger foods like chicken and veggie sticks. Nuggets and potato wedges, anything they can pick up and feed themselves with. Or offer your child a spoon to hold while you’re feeding. This lets them feel in control.

If you are concerned about the general health of your child or have any nutritional concerns, talk to your child’s health care provider about it. If you’re seeking a second opinion, then ask doctor online in Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. Telehealth platforms like My live doctors bridge the gap between doctor and patients by reducing distances and making quality healthcare more accessible to the masses. 

If your child has an underlying medical condition or has a problem with swallowing or digesting certain types of food then seek an evaluation by a healthcare provider. You can also ask a doctor online. Instantly connect to an online healthcare provider with the My live doctors app on you smartphone. If your child displays excessive crying then it’s better to show your doctor to rule out underlying illness. 

What not to do! 

You might want to avoid becoming a short-order cook and preparing special meals for your child. Preparing a treat or two on special occasion is alright, but make sure that at each mealtime, there is something he knows and likes on the plate. Also make sure that you put toddler-sized portions on your child’s plate. 

Hope these tips have helped you out. For further discussion, ask a doctor online at https://mylivedoctors.com