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Child fussy about eating.

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My name is XXXXXXX - i am a working mother.I have a 22 months daughter.I have a 12 hours maid who takes care of her.My daughter is a very fussy and slow eater.She takes almost and hour and half to eat each meal.Her daily routine is get up at 8.30 a.m, brush ,have kidicare syrup , massage , bath , have lunch( 3 chhapatis,veg,dal,rice) at around 10.15 a.m .goes to temple and then school at 12 noon.On the way back from school milk and then sleeps and gets up at 4p.m , then from 4 to 5.30 has her evening snacks(daliya) - but off late she does not want to eat that.then goes to the garden and at 8 p.m has dinner ( home made cerelac).
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.

Fussiness is common in this age group and can be more if children are missing a family meal time together.

The quantity of her lunch is more than adequate if she finishes it completely. It's natural for children to take longer time for big meals with little variety.

For reducing her fussiness you may try the following tips.

1. You can try to give her five small meals i.e breakfast of idli, upma, cereals with milk, etc followed by lunch with two chappati, veg, or dal rice, then milk followed by snacks in the evening and dinner more or less similar to lunch.
2. Try to have atleast one family meal time together either lunch or dinner.
3. Try to give her a variety of foods instead of same daily. You may look for healthy recepies and information on meal schedules on WWW.WWWW.WW 4. Try to minimise distraction like television or games during meal times, as the child may lose interest in eating and take longer time.

Children have a tendency to graze at that age and they really do not enjoy eating like us grown ups do. For the future cut back on the in between meal snacks, give smaller portions. Give lots of praise for even a couple bites taken. Realize this is just one of those stages that all children go through.
If her weight gain is steady and there are no signs of vitamin deficiencies according to her pediatrician then please do not worry.

If you want to set a time limit be liberal, no two year olds will eat in twenty min, they commonly take 30 to 40 min. Reward her with her favourite desert if she finishes in that time.

I hope, this answers your query. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child fussy about eating. 18 hours later
Hi doctor ,thanks for your earlier reply but now since sunday she has not been eating any of the things as mentioned above in her daily routine.In case she feels hungry she wants milk ,so in a day she has 3 times around (120 ml of milk each time).if we try to give her roti sabji or any other food stuff she cries and throws tantrums. Otherwise she likes curds ,that also she wants to have on her own. I am very worried what do i do.Should i not give her milk also and let her crave till she is hungry and give her roti sabji or should i give her milk when she is hungry.How long should i continue like this.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 39 minutes later
Thanks for follow up.

Such sudden phases of tantrums and poor eating are a normal part of growth and psychological development in children.

First of all, you should rule out any medical problems associated with teething or worm infestation and anemia all of which may either decrease her apetite or cause discomfort on feeding.

Next is you should monitor her weight monthly to rule out growth faltering due to poor intake. If there are no such problems according to her pediatrician then you need not worry.

Dont force her to eat roti sabji, instead if she wants milk or liquid diet you can include fruits to make smoothies or milk shakes, give vegetable soups or lemon curd rice.

Try offering her few bites and praise and reward her for each.Try serving food in a new fancy dish and let her have on her own. For few days let her have more of milk but if problem persists more than a couple of weeks she might need protein and vitamin supplementation like pediasure or nutrigrow as per her pediatricians advise.

I hope, I have answered your query. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.

Wish you and your daughter a good health.

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