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Managing Fussy Eaters

Managing Fussy Eaters

We all are fussy about eating at some point or the other. Of course, so much variety available one cannot like everything offered. It is ok to prefer some textures/ tastes/ flavours over others. The problem arises when one is so fussy that starts making them ill with deficiency.

Food is the most basic requirement of our body. We get all the nutrients from food. These nutrients only run our body. Not medicines, not pills, or not supplements. As has been said time and again, we are what we eat. The argument says lot of people get ill even if they take care of their health. Yes, there are several diseases that do not have a cause in food. My advice is; that doesn’t mean we start inviting diseases that are from food. The new dietary guidelines from ICMA have stated that 56.4% of India's total disease burden is attributable to unhealthy diets. Hence, food-related issues are still winning.

So what makes us fussy eaters?

Is it the fact that we do not like nutritious food offered to us or do our taste buds control our diets? Not really, we are not even supposed to like everything. It can be related to the food options available, the food habits developed by our families, or the ones we picked up from an environment like school. It can also depend on the availability of ultra-processed food which is addictive and curbs appetite for natural food.

The Solution

  1. The best way is to find a good alternative to either make that particular food tasty or find a tastier version of the same nutrition composition. For example, if one doesn’t like pumpkin/ lauki vegetables, those can be used to prepare dough instead of water by using it in grated form, adding onion etc. to it to add flavour. Give it a try, it might just work.
  2. To find a tastier version one example can be in case someone doesn’t like black chana but loves chole, then give chole. Similar nutrition value, simple.
  3. Add at least one preparation in the meal that is of interest to the person, when we are trying foods that are usually not accepted.
  4. Educate the child about eating from childhood. Humans are an intelligent species. We follow good habits once we are educated about them.
  5. Try to make at least breakfast and dinner family meals, when the child sees others eating well, they get influenced for the same.
  6. Admire the child for incorporating foods that they used to refuse. Humans like admiration, right from the time they can understand language.

But of course, these few examples do not cover all the fussy eating. Hence, meet a dietitian, get help. If a child is a fussy eater a good diet counsellor like Dr. Pragati Pragya can always help him or her develop a taste for things kids normally dislike.

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