It is natural to get caught up in a whole mix of feelings when your child is not eating well or is very fussy about food. Your first worry is that your child may not be getting enough nutrition for his/her growth and development, so you would resort to all ways and means to get him/her to eat (i.e scolding, forcing to bribing or threatening). These anxieties may soon turn into anger and aggravate the situation. So, let us look at the possible reasons for a child being a fussy eater.
There are a small percentage of fussy eaters who may have an underlying medical and/or physiological cause for finding it difficult to feed, so they are not technically speaking fussy eaters. For example:
However, the majority of fussy eaters show it through refusing food. It is usually part of their growing up as they learn ways to assert their independence or use it as a form of manipulative behaviour to gain attention from parents or other caregivers.
Some children may also develop “food jags”, in which the child might refuse previously accepted foods as a result of consuming the same food, prepared the same way, every day (or on a very consistent basis). It is important to understand that food refusal or a child having negative attitudes towards food is very common, especially in the toddler and preschool years.
Nevertheless, here are some ways to make meal-times relaxing for both you and your child, as it is important to provide a positive feeding environment as a baseline.
REMEMBER! Avoid showing your anxiety if your child’s intake is poor as this will in turn, stress the child. Keep the feeding environment as enjoyable as possible for your child!
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Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a private specialist and primary healthcare provider with a network of more than 20 medical specialties. The Group is committed to its promise of providing patient centred medical care and experience to every individual. SMG has 35 clinics and a growing network of SMG Associates all across the island.