Making your fussy toddler eat

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I generally call my little one a fussy eater. However my definition of fussy eater being him not having the food I serve. I do prepare him food that he likes but over these months I understand there isn’t any food that he really loves eating apart from his yogurt and chocolates. So I kept wondering is there something I need to improvise on. Do I have to cook  food more deliciously or do I have to present it in a more pleasing appetizing manner. Do I attempt to force feed him so he doesn’t stay empty stomach. These are not just ordinary thoughts but very distressing ones that stresses every mom out there. These thoughts are like plague and once we get into this viscous thought cycle we start thinking about all possible ways and tricks to get our little ones have their food.and this also ruins the harmony of the entire house. After all, all that a mom would ask for is to see her kid with a happy belly.

So how could this be tackled. Just like every other mom I went on reading articles, seeking help from mommy communities, watching YouTube vids and testing these approaches on my little one.
There were advises on force feeding, which I tried once and regret till date, when I once saw my son tremble while sleeping trying to close his mouth. That was such a pathetic sight that any mom would like to see. I realised how fragile our little ones are that just a single attempt could create such an impact and thinking about doing it as a practice was horrifying.
And then there was an advise to cut the intake of milk if he refuses to eat but I couldn’t do that as well. That made my little one very weak since he already hasn’t had his food and then to stop milk only made him brittle. That was the only source of energy and I dont want to force anything on him.
So I started preparing different food items to know if there might be something that he would love to eat. All these attempts only made me desperate and I started losing my patience and calm which was the very crux. Not to force anything on him. When nothing seems to work, when books or gurus,videos don’t help you, you get agitated by your own inability which starts to seep into anger towards our little ones.
Now after all these tantrums I realise there is no set path to make your fussy eater eat. There is nothing called a fussy eater. There are only impatient parents. The only key is to observe and allow our little ones to let us know what is the best way to handle them. Each kid is unique and their needs are different. Some kids would take a lot of time first playing with their food getting their hands dirty understanding the texture of the food and then slowly eat, until which we would not wait. We would have already declared he doesn’t like the food and would have gone ahead preparing something else.
There are also kids who would like to do a taste test prior eating a chunk of food and reject the food right away after their taste test, in which case we need to ensure the first bite is something that they would want to taste.
There are the other lot which just evades from food just by the sight of it, where the trick would be the place Finger food at random places of play so that they would eat them or present food in a  more enticing fashion. These are no brainer and everyone of us knew these stuff all along. But the key or the trick of trade as promised is to take the lead of our kids and let them decide how they want to be fed. Making it more nutritious and nourishing within the given limitations is something each mom has to figure out.
What is your take on this. Would love to hear your opinion on it.
Pic courtesy : littlefusspot
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Yummy Green Upma for toddlers

Cooking for a fussy eater is never simple. You got to explore all possibilities to make a fussy toddler eat. Also babies easily get bored of repetition and they don’t want to see the same food again. So I trick my little one by adding a different veggie to the same recipe each time so it becomes a new meal all together.

Also since they are these tiny tots we need to take immense care that we provide them healthy nutritious foods. But to my dismay my little one doesn’t love trying new food/taste rather he wants the food he is comfortable with like rice with yogurt or rice with veggie and lentils else just cereals n selective fruits. Rest is just for him to play with abd get messy. He takes a while to get comfortable with any new food I try be it pasta or roti etc. Since my options are limited I came up with this simple recipe for my son as he loves broccoli and has had semolina/sooji earlier. He loved it so much that he went for another serving.

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This is a guilt free food that anyone could try for their toddlers as its nutritious and also filling. So here goes the recipe

Yummy Green Upma Recipe

Ingredients:

Semolina – 1/2 cup

Spinach, peas and broccoli – a small handful (washed and cut into small pieces)

Clarified butter/ghee – 1 tsp

Cream – 1 tbsp (optional if you want your little one to gain weight)

Garlic – 1 (optional aids digestion)

Method:

  1. Dry roast semolina until it turns golden and keep aside

  2. Add clarified butter to a hot skillet and fry spinach and broccoli along with garlic until the spinach is thawed n wilted and  until broccoli is semi cooked.

  3. Now add water and add peas and allow all the veggies to be thoroughly cooked.

  4. The roasted soonish/semolina could be added to the boiling veggies at this point. Allow sooji to boil until its cooked and all the water us absorbed.

  5. The cooked upma has to be mushy and soft in consistency else add a little more hot water and allow semolina to cook thoroughly.

  6. This step is optional, when upma is almost ready add a dollop of cream which would add flavor and richness