Have you ever seen that there are some babies who just prefer to eat sweet food and they won’t even touch any other food? Or have you ever come across babies who eat like a bird? Well, these are some of the common problems associated with the fussy eaters. They are either obsessed with a certain kind of food or they eat less. The signs and symptoms vary from a baby to another. But there are certain guidelines that help you tackle the situation.
Is your baby a fussy eater?
If all your efforts to make your baby gulp a few spoons of healthy food without a fight keep failing, then your baby is sure to be a fussy eater. Fussy eating is more of a habit than a problem. Sometimes it is inborn while there are times when the baby develops fussy eating habits eventually because of circumstances and negligence by parents.
Why is your baby fussy?
Through various research and analysis it has been concluded that there is no pattern or particular way associated with the fussy eaters. One cannot really figure out any common behavioural trends associated with fussy eaters. Fussy babies may come in all sizes and shapes and they may have types of characteristics.
The reason is inborn: Fussy eaters can be found in families where there is no past record of fussy eating habit. Many researchers believe that bothering about fussy eating doesn’t help at all and it is also possible that your baby gets fussy because of the activities that you do, like pushing food particles into her mouth. One can simply put it this way- some people are born potato lover and others may learn to love it eventually but that will be an adult behaviour and you cannot always expect your baby to adapt it so early in life.
Upbringing can make a difference: It is also stated that it is quite normal for your baby to suddenly become choosy about food. She has started discovering tastes and that is why she has also begun developing a particular taste for her tongue. Mothers are often scared of trying out new food on their babies because of the fear of ending up giving unhealthy food to their little ones. But there are several ways and techniques that can be followed in order to experiment with healthy food and at the same time, make your baby eat it.
Poor health can be a cause: There are times when a baby gets fussy about food for various reasons and one of them could be some health issue. In case of babies below 12 months, there may be issues like teething which could make your baby a little annoyed and irritating. Another cause may be some kind of mouth infection because of which the baby might feel restless and fussy and which would affect her eating habits.
Introduce new food slowly: The baby might get fussy about a new food so you would be required to go slow while introducing any new food to her.
Check your diet: If your baby is still breast-fed by you then you need to check your diet as well.
Why should you be careful with fussy eaters?
Many a time parents consider fussy eating a bigger problem than it actually is. They need to understand that it’s a phase and the baby would soon get out of it. Nonetheless, a picky eater is a matter of concern for the parents for various reasons. Parents need to be alarmed because if their little one doesn’t eat properly then she would not get enough nutrients. At a stage when your baby is growing up, she would require a lot of energy food to meet her growing up needs. And in times like these if she is picky and choosy about her food, then she is surely at a loss. But at the same time your baby is too young to understand all that “healthy food” and “nutrition” talks and therefore don’t expect that she should be convinced with all this. In fact, it would be your prime responsibility to understand your baby’s food related problem and see how you can handle it with ease.
How to handle a fussy eater?
We are all familiar with this common problem of dealing with our little ones’ kiddy quirks. We may argue, put forth reason and sometimes bribe and threaten but the situation doesn’t get better. In fact, it worsens day by day. And at the end we come down to accepting the fact that the baby doesn’t “like” certain food but what should “we” as parents do about it.
Never apply strictness: One thing to keep in mind is that a power struggle between the parent and baby is not a solution to the fussy eating problem. Avoid saying, “You won’t get up from the chair until you finish every bit of your food”. These techniques don’t help; in fact they worsen the situation and the baby may become all the more estranged from the food.
However, there are a few strategies for handling a fussy eater that won’t require the regular fights and would still allow your baby to take pleasure in a well-balanced diet.
Take it easy: The first thing that is required of the parent is to take the issue casually and do not get panicky about it. Your baby is extraordinarily skillful at knowing what she desires and when she feels hungry. If she is provided with choices and the parents don’t manipulate their choice on her, she would probably pick up something from the options available to her.
Neither force nor bribe: There are parents who try saying, “you eat or else someone else would eat it” but this doesn’t work either. It is recommended that the baby should not be force fed or else she would simply puke it out. Forced feeding is actually a sort of abuse. If you bribe your baby to eat, she would end up becoming manipulative and would create more problems once she grows up.
Eat with her: Many a time parents just serve their babies and get busy in the household chores. In situations like these the baby would get busy with her own activities and would not eat the food. That is why the researchers suggest that the parents should always eat with the babies and let them eat according to their hunger. If you leave the baby alone then she would probably crave for attention and one way to grab attention is to refuse the food or complain about it. These can be some of the common causes behind a baby’s fussiness and it can be handled through love and care. Your baby needs to get accustomed to a routine schedule and eating together is one of the solutions to this problem.
Serve her the right amount: Please consider the size of your little one’s stomach before forcing her to eat adult portions of diet. Don’t expect a diet like yours from them and also don’t draw comparisons with other babies around. Every baby eats according to her hunger and let your ba