Who is a fussy eater ? How to adapt and tame one .

What is fussy eating?

Fussy eating happens when usually your kid starts rejecting food or seems choosy about what is being fed.

When does a baby turn a fussy eater?

This can be a regular habit or can be at intervals. The baby may have an immature digestive system, which will cure itself with time, or might be teething, have an infection,food allergy, or just may not be ready for solid foods yet.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Your baby may push away the spoon or turn her head from it. She might close her mouth,as you try feeding her, spit out food, or become cranky or tired at mealtime. They might also start throwing food when they are playful.

Suggestions to avoid fussy eating stage

  • Don’t delay introducing lumpy foods. Keep changing frequently between purees and lumpy food.
  • Remember that your child will never voluntarily starve themselves. Hunger and fullness can be very well judged by kids.
  • Do not make a fuss of whether your child is eating or not. Remain calm. All we need to do is to concentrate on making mealtimes enjoyable family events. If an occurrence is enjoyable, your child will want to repeat it
  • Be genuine about the amount of effort you put into making your child’s meals. Don’t feel annoyed when they refuse to eat.
  • Don’t threaten and shout at them. This might make it even more difficult
  • Do not use desserts as bribes.

How do I adjust to my child’s eating habit:?

Part of the problem is solved when parents avoid to force feed a child like a adult.

  • If your kid is in the age of 2 months to 2 years, we need to understand that their stomach size would be small. If they have too much of liquid intake say fruit juice or milk, that might be filling them up and say no to a solid when offered.
  • The meal size should be that is something that should suffice a child- size. If they are hungrier they would ask for more. Ideal plan would be three meals spaced at an equal interval and a snack in between.
  • If the family is used to eating late at nights. This would not suit the child. They might get tired and start getting cranky. So always feed the last meal earlier.
  • Weekly assessment is better than daily.
  • Let the kid decide when they have had enough, this would help them understand their body and make them realize when to stop and when to ask for more.

How to tame my fussy eater?

  • Do not force feed the child. If the child turns the head away and rejects food by closing mouth , it’s a clear sign that they are full, even if it is very little. Trust your kid that they know how much to eat. Despite the above signs, if you still try to force feed it might lead to tension and discomfort.
  • Experiment with food textures. Even babies have food preferences. Some enjoy wet gravy foods, while the others prefer finger food. Some might want o continue with liquids, while the others might want to graze over half a dozen meal. Offer healthy options and he’ll develop a taste for them. But do not trick them with junk to eat the meal.
  • Change the speed. Some babies are fast eaters some are slow. So try changing the pace to see if there is a difference.
  • Do not distract the child. Keep away toys, books and turn off TV. Main focus should only be on eating.
  • It’s tempting to let a picky eater take as long as they want to eat. Keep meal length reasonable. It should not be more than 30 minutes. You can tell them you should eat before your hands become dry.
  • Let the baby touch and feel the food that is being offered. There is nothing wrong in exploring.
  • Follow your baby’s timeline. Most babies begin eating solid foods between 4 and 6 months, but some may start a little earlier, others later. As with crawling, walking, potty-training, and just about every other infant milestone, there’s no perfect time .No baby is unique. So let them take their own time.
  • Encourage self-feeding. By about 9 months, many babies are interested in trying to feed themselves. Although your picky eater is likely to make a mess waving around the mealtime spoon, letting him take control is important to a child’s growth and development. Let them participate, which makes it enjoyable for them.
  • It’s a natural feeling for babies to slow down on their feeds. This is usually at the end of year one babies’ growth tends to slow. So does their calorie need. Be patient; growth spurts are on the way.
  • Keep trying, gently. Some babies may need to try a food eight, 10, even 15 times before they enjoy it, so be patient and continue to revisit a rejected food over time, time as long as there are no allergies.
  • React passionately to a picky eater and even a 1-year-old will understand her power over you. Realize that you want your baby to eat for her own well-being, not to please you — and that baby’s rejection of a food is not a rejection of you. Don’t let on that you’re frustrated or angry.
  • Even if it’s our job to feed the baby, it’s their choice to choose what to eat and when. As long as the child is active and has a healthy weight gain, we needn’t worry.
  • Make meal time educative. Teach them where food comes from.
  • Eating together is a good practice. Make sure at least one of you eats with the child.

Toddler recipes for fussy eaters:

  • Baked sweet potato wheels
  • Dry fruit powdered balls
  • Melon balls
  • Shaped cheese slice
  • Popcorn gobi mildly spiced
  • Mildly spiced ragi or soya chakli
  • Carrot kheer
  • Multigrain balls
  • Rice cakes topped with ghee and sugar
  • Rice crepes with veggie purees
  • French fries shallow fried
  • Bite sized jam buns
  • Mini quesadilla with veggies
  • Dhal rice balls
  • Curd rice cakes
  • Soups of all veggies

I did read through a couple of books to learn about child nutrition.

The gentle eating book by Sarah Ockwell Smith

Eat, delete Junior by Pooja Makhija

These give us a better understanding of our child’s food habits and nutritional needs.

Are you still breastfeeding ? When to start with BLW ??

Hello Mommies,

March 13 2017 was the day I met my little angel who gave me a second life. The labor and delivery was a scintillating experience for me as a first time mommy. All throughout my pregnancy, I constantly kept myself occupied reading about the various ways people enjoyed being pregnant. I followed fellow blogger mommies who had different views on everything relating to pregnancy. Right from the tests, scan, food, workouts, and leisure time; my choices were abundant and I had plenty to choice from.

But, the one thing that was constantly running in my subconscious mind- VAGINAL DELIVERY and BREASTFEEDING.

That is also the time I started reading about breastfeeding. I also got to know there were classes for learning about various positions to feed the baby and that can be taken even before the delivery. There are also few hospitals who offer this as part of their package to expecting clients. Well, living in the 21st century, this is not something to be surprised of. This would not have been possible for our ancestors- say even our moms.

When I told my mom about this, she found it interesting and gave me a go ahead. Though we do have the elders guiding us through their experiences, they still agree on things like these.

A breastfeeding class can introduce us to some of the different positions and offer some reassurance that breastfeeding is not something that’s going to happen immediately. Baby and us are both going to need some time to get the hang of it.

The ‘Womanly Art of Breastfeeding’ is a wonderful book to start with, in case you do not have time to attend to classes.

These classes teach us about the different latches, feeding cues, and stomach size.

It is very important to get the first latch properly. This is done immediately in the labor room. My God, I really felt I was in heaven when I felt her lips. What more does a mother want?

And ladies, in case you are attending the classes birthing/ breastfeeding don’t forget to take your husbands. It is extremely necessary they accompany us, not just as moral support, but to get to know and be supportive.

I initially had little struggles with making my daughter feed, I was very worried about it. But, I did not give up. The main thing to focus during this time is not to fall into depression and not to lose hope. I strongly kept saying within me that I can feed my baby, I can satisfy her hunger needs, and I can do it. This positive vibe really did wonders, and slowly I starting seeing changes and feeding time became relaxing for both, me and my baby. Feeding with keeping the baby in the baby carrier was another blessing in this era. Though feeding in public is still a big “WHAT THE” in this society making a lot of heads turn, the carrier made it easier.

As the months passed, I noticed that she needed much more than only milk. That is when I decided to wean. I started with porridge and fruit purees. She had an instant liking. We can start this once the head gets the support and the baby can balance the head-neck. Apple purees, finger millet, and rice porridge were becoming her favourites.

SO, what is BLW or baby led weaning then?

We can start letting the baby taste and feel the textures by giving them small portions. Self-feeding improves hand-eye coordination. Baby learns to swallow, lick, and chew. Once the baby starts sprouting the first tooth, we can offer finger foods like carrots and beans. Take care to not feed nuts/peanuts as it may lead to choking.

Eating with the family is a great practice that can be cultivated as early as 8 months. The baby can watch others eat, so that they get to learn what and how.

And ladies, you can still continue breast feeding until the child is one. Nobody can stop you from that!

Related read : Baby led weaning.