Did you notice your once agreeable child has become a fussy eater? It might seem a fairy-tale when your toddler is happily munching on a snack or a slice of fruit, without bringing the house down but this really isn’t reason to panic over. Picky eating is your kid’s way of asserting independence and expressing their feelings. No, you don’t want meal times to become a battleground and that’s where the 5T approach steps in as a blessing in disguise.
Your child may have a sensitive palate and not prefer the taste of some foods. Most kids aged between two and three have their food favourites to the extent of shunning what they don’t like. Finding out their taste preferences are essential to balance their meals with what they like and what they love with what they need to eat.
Introduce different textures of food to your child - crunchy to pureed, soft, chewy to sticky. Offer them one new food at a time and let them develop a taste for it before you introduce it into their diet regularly. Remember, a toddler might need 20 tastes before he decides that he likes it.
We all like change, your little fusspot is no different. It’s vital for them to feel the difference between chilled, regular and warm foods. You also need to gradually introduce them to testing the food temperature before they pop it into their mouth. Watching your child relish a popsicle or take a cautious bite into a hot cutlet can be quite an entertainment.
Spacing snack time and meals is critical to your kid relishing food. While they love snacking, frequent snack timings can affect their appetite and want for a full meal. A gap of three to four hours between each meal, with only water in between, is what you should aim to achieve.
Food shopping, making a sandwich or baking cookies together, plucking vegetables from your kitchen garden is a great way to tackle their unwillingness to try out new foods. Well, it’s a lot of fun too apart from the unadulterated bonding that accompanies.
Be glad to know that your kids’ reluctance to experiment with food is very normal and a part of growing up, something s/he will soon grow out of.