How to Handle Picky Eaters

Selective eating in children or “picky eaters” is a burdensome problem in young children that often progress to adulthood. Doctors often take a wait-and-see approach hoping that children will grow out of this phase. Parents on the other hand often get frustrated and develop self-blame for failing to introduce their children to a variety of food.

Although “picky eating” is common and affects 20-25% of children, however it is not necessarily benign.

Here are some red flags that suggest the need to be seen by a doctor for assessment.
? Difficulty in swallowing
? Aspiration due to coughing/choking during feeding
? Apparent pain with feeding
? Growth failure
? Recurrent vomiting or diarrhoea
? Delay in milestones
? Recurrent respiratory infections
? Food fixations or extreme dietary limitations
? Noxious feeding
? Anticipatory gagging

The infograph below gives good tips on how to avoid and overcome “picky eating”. Always remember to stay calm while handling a child with “picky eating”. The best reaction is often not to react. ?

drjoann child specialist picky eaters


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“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.” – Sue Atkins