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Effective strategies for kids who are selective eaters


Mealtimes with selective and fussy eaters can be challenging especially when it comes to kids. Some kids have extreme likes and dislike and they don’t eat everything and anything.

Mothers are aware that for the right growth and development, kids need a balanced diet with a good mix of macro and micronutrients that comes from five food groups –vegetables, fruits, protein, dairy and cereals.

Firstly one needs to identify this picky and selective behaviour. Kids exhibit fussy behaviour when they only eat a limited number of foods, unwilling to try new food items and disrupting mealtimes other than throwing tantrums.

Here are ways you can address the issue of fussy eating –

ALSO READ: Three rules of eating right according to 

Create a food-chain

Food-chaining is a long-term but effective technique to introduce your child to newer foods by noting down what kinds of food items your child likes and dislikes and then adding new food items based on colours and textures the child likes.

One of each

Choose one food item to provide the essential nutrition of an entire food group that your child doesn’t mind having. Say for calcium choose milk, for protein choose eggs, fruits for vitamins and so on.


Parents can try to set different goals to eat new foods and maintain progress, also by giving an incentive to the kids.

Slow and steady

Follow these additional steps to help your kid try out new things. Avoid distractions at mealtimes, feed to encourage hunger, limit how long meals last, serve age/texture appropriate food, tolerate age-appropriate mess, encourage self-feeding, maintain a neutral attitude during meals and consistently offer new food.


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