11:43 (GMT+2), Wed, 15 February 2012
Our expert, Ashleigh Caradas, answers your questions on fussy eaters:
My two-year-old son shows little to no interest in food and is only interested in drinking milk and eating sweets. Please offer some suggestions to tempt my fussy eater.
Finicky eaters can present quite a frustrating problem for moms. Often, these food jags are just a phase, but if left too long, they could lead to nutritional deficiencies, behavioural problems and stunted growth. Make sure that you aren’t feeding him too much milk, as he may simply be too full to eat regular food.
As for the chocolates; out of sight is out of mind. Avoid giving into his every whim and he’ll eventually forget about them. The following suggestions might help:
• Try separating a variety of foods in an ice or muffin tray and let him experiment with different foods. For example, place a variety of chopped up fruits and vegetables in the tray, and see which ones he likes.
• Set a good example. Eat healthy, nutritious foods in front of your child, so that he can follow your example.
• Liquidise fruits to make smoothies. Ingredients to use in smoothies may include bananas, berries, pineapple, apple juice, peanut butter, yogurt and milk.
• Make healthy dips. Try offering crudité veggies (like pepper sticks, celery sticks, carrot sticks and cucumber sticks) and let him dip them in cottage cheese, avocado dip or peanut butter.
• Get him involved in food preparation. Children are more likely to eat something that they created. Let your child get involved in washing lettuce, scrubbing potatoes or stirring and mixing sauces. Get plastic knives and let him chop veggies or smear toppings on crackers. Let him use cookie cutters to make interesting shapes with his food.
• Don’t push him. Often fussy eating is just a way to assert independence. Offer nutritious foods and gently coax him into eating. But if he refuses, try avoiding bribery or making a big fuss. food, fussy, milk, sweets