For all mothers, a fussy eater is a cause for anxiety. One must have noticed that children change their taste very often. What they liked earlier as an infant may not be tolerated by them as they grow. Many times we also experience nausea when related to a particular food. This could be conditioning of the mind or just a general dislike. Handling a fussy eater is a very difficult job for the care giver.
Nutritionists offer suggestions that are do-able and there is no way we can force a child to have food. Each child has a special liking to taste or smell. Including all kinds of colors in food is another simple way to aid nutritive eating. A very small portion of diet has to include fat and hence there is no reason to worry if the child dislikes oily food.
Prior to eating it is better to create an environment. Many mothers swear by the magic of feeding successfully while the toddler watches his favorite bit on television. Slowly this is habitual and one day he will outgrow the same. Hence it is essential to have minimum distractions. It would be a better idea to narrate a story or hum a song while feeding. Keeping the area free of distractions would be beneficial.
Another reason why the child is fussy could be that he or she is still not hungry. Encourage children to spend their energy in running around or using a play park. This will expend their high energy levels and they will naturally be hungry. Avoid starters that are deep fried ones as this immediately satisfies their hunger pangs. It would be better to use a few salads like carrot sticks or cucumbers arranged in an attractive way.
Certain kids do not like to be fed and they will keep pushing your hand away. Keep the tempering minimum as too much of spices/condiments can be habitual. Occasional treats can be homemade with cakes, scones or pizzas that can have healthy vegetables. Kids love smileys or eyes as decorations and that are possible with smiling idlis decorated with sauce and mustard seeds. Chapattis can be done as pizza and an occasional falooda can be enriched with dry fruits.
The bottom line is kids eat only when they are hungry and develop their taste as they progress in their milestones.