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My child is a picky eater what can I do to make him eat?

A. If you are struggling to get your child to eat, try these tips:

  • Don’t get angry. Take the food away and then offer it later.
  • Never force your child to eat; he knows when he is full.
  • Check with your paediatrician regarding your child’s development and growth, especially with regard to height.
  • Notice whether your child is energetic and physically active. Sometimes fatigue and lack of appetite are early signs of illness.
  • Always offer your child small servings of food, even if it seems like it won’t be enough; it’s almost always adequate for a child since their nutritional needs are much lower than ours.
  • Prepare the kinds of food that your child likes and asks for. He can actively participate in choosing and preparing the meal with you.
  • The most common mistake a parent makes is replacing the main meal with unhealthy snacks, if the child is refusing to eat. A better option is to refrain from giving your child anything to eat until he is very hungry. Then offer him a main dish of meat or chicken or a favourite side dish, like rice or yogurt.
  • Many children eat better in a group of kids, so try to regularly invite your child’s friends over, or have lunch with relatives or neighbours.
  • Buy plates, bowls and cups with your child’s favourite heroes or characters pictured on them. This is one way to encourage him to eat.
  • A child’s tastes change every day. Never give up introducing new dishes to your child and exposing him to new tastes. What he disliked before, he may come to like later on.
  • Cut food into the shapes and the sizes he prefers when eating it – such as squares or sticks or circles or stars.

Here are some tips to help your picky eater try new foods:

  • Offer new foods many times. It may take up to a dozen tries for a child to accept a new food.
  • Give them a small taste at first and be patient with them. Eventually their taste buds will get used to the new and they will learn to enjoy it.
  • Be a good role model by trying new foods yourself. Show your child that you are eating the same and soon he will want to try for himself.
  • Offer only one new food at a time. Serve something that you know your child likes along with the new food.
  • Offer new foods first, at the beginning of a meal, when your child is still hungry.
  • Involve your child in doing the groceries; children enjoy helping you to pick the produce.
  • Involve your child in the preparation of the food; they are more likely to eat something they helped prepare.
  • Offer a variety of foods for your child to choose from. Usually children go for the second one, so offer the one you want to give second. Example, do you want beans or broccoli?
Last but not least, we recommend you offer your child 2 servings of NIDO Growing Up milk everyday (2 serving = 500ml). NIDO One Plus and NIDO Three Plus are specialized growing-up milk that help support your child in achieving a balanced diet and meeting his nutritional needs.

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