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How Parents Should Deal with a Picky Eater?

Back when we were children, we have gone through many forms of picky eating. You may have liked beef, but not goat or hated fresh tomato slices in burgers, but have no problem eating tomato ketchup on it. From preferring to play come mealtime to outright being afraid of some foods, to your own misperception of your children’s hunger as a parent, picky eating behaviors come in many forms. Determine which one your child has and start addressing it with activities, fresh foods and nutritional supplements (eg. Pediasure) where necessary. 1, 6, 7

  1. Prefers to play instead of eating
    If there is energy left to spend, then it is difficult for anyone, let alone a child, to sit still and eat. Explore the behaviors throughout the day that may have caused them to not be hungry. Have they smacked too much? A late previous meal? Overeating at each meal? They could also prefer to play because eating cuts into their fun time and you as a parent could have allowed this to happen in the first place. To stimulate hunger at appropriate times, set and manage meal schedules, snack times, and make sure they have had a day of fresh air and exercise. High activity during the day causes them to be hungry at mealtime. Make up special rewards like if they come to meal time on the dot 5 times in a row and eat, they get a certain extra amount of play time on the weekends. Pack each meal with protein, fiber, and vitamin rich foods so children can stay fuller longer and control energy levels.2, 3, 4, 5
  2. Fear of feeding/Highly Selective
    Knowing the importance of nutrition for growth, food refusal and picky eating behavior is quite frustrating for parents. But in reality, it is quite normal and as children grow, their sensory for certain flavors and textures change so it affects what they prefer to eat or not. Does your child have a fever? Is their mouth hurting? Are they good with dental care? Have they experienced any sort of trauma associated with meal time? Since you can control what, when, and where of meals, adopt meal times as family bonding vs just eating. Children love being involved so if you let them be part of the process of cooking, then they will be more willing to eat it since they made it. Let them tell you what they like and take them along shopping to give them options to choose from. The key is to not pressure and threaten your child as that will add additional fears. First address what is causing them the refusal of the food and when meal time, it is best to have an agenda.2, 3, 4, 5
  3. Parental Misperception of Appetite
    Children at a young age are still growing and their hunger patterns are not yet stabilized. Their level of energy expenditure throughout the day also matters how hungry they will be. Learn to understand your child’s hunger signals and feed them when they show signs of hunger and stop at signs of being full. As long as you’re maintaining your feeding roles and staying consistent with mealtime boundaries, your child should be in charge of whether and how much they eat. Some children can be intimidated by large portions, so reduce each serving to half and they will be more likely to ask for more.2, 3, 4, 5

All in all, to properly address picky eating, take charge of what, when, and where of meals, while letting your child be the master of whether they eat or not and quantity. Encourage your kids to be active while you are providing them with well-balanced meals. If you are worried that your child is not getting enough nutrients throughout their picky eating behavior curbing journey with just simple food, nutritional supplements such as Pediasure can provide support in growth and development. Enriched with a total of 37 nutrients that include protein, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin E, and filling prebiotic fibers, it can help fill in where food cannot for picky eaters. Also, in a child approved flavor and texture when made with water or mixed into food, fulfilling a child’s nutritional needs is made easier so that they grow up happy and strong. For more information or samples to try, please visit Pediasure Myanmar today.1, 6, 7


Consistently offer new food.
  • At least once a day, offer your child a small amount of food that she doesn’t eat or hasn’t tried before. Put a small amount of the new food on her plate along with food that your child likes.