You are a parent of a child, who is consistently in the 5th percentile of weight and is cleared by the paediatrician of any severe disease. Your kid is considered a small child and picky eaters. Consequently, the medical practitioners say that the mother has to make the child “eat more” and then possibly to load the meals with calorie. I have heard this numerous times and as this parental instinct would push you to do whatever best you can. But this job is the most frustrating of all, and as a mother, you may find often feel that you have failed. Being a mother of this category and after a lot of trials and failures, I have learnt to arrive at small targets. If the intake of food increases by 30 pct it is a huge success. Here are the few simple tips which I have accepted to be more beneficial in fulfilling the targets.
Portion Size of the food: Give our child a big portion size. Then you can make a deal that you have to finish all. Even if your child does not complete, all he or she will eat more. Yes, of course, there is a chance of leftover food and wastage. Anyways by now, mothers have the habit of nibbling into the leftovers. So it would not be a significant issue by far.
Size of the Plate served. Previously when my child was small, I have tried feeding her in the little kid's plate. She ate as usual But when she ate in our dish it though by default it was eventually more. The satisfying or they're the fulfilment of eating is delayed we serve on a bigger plate. So she ultimately ate quite a few morsels more.
Plates made of the different medium: To add fun and variety and encourage more enthusiasm I have changed the usual dishes with sometimes banana leaf serving, or sal leaves plates. She enjoyed the meal as it was different. So eventually could sneak in more food. Even wooden bowl and plates and stonewares are available nowadays in fancy shapes. My daughter was particularly attracted to banana leave plates.
Colour up the plate. Bright colour plates entice kids more. I have seen my child eat more from a green colour melamine plate than the usual white plates or the steel plates we use in India. Buy varying shapes brightly coloured plates and bowl. At least 3 to 4 would do the trick. There is now cartoon placemat. Buy 1 or 2 if serving on a simple stainless steel plate. So remember the background of the food serving is crucial.
How much milk to drink: Full-fat milk usually fills up the kid's stomach for a long time thus preventing them from eating more calorie dense food. Do not give milk before lunch or dinner. Liquid calories do not add to the weight gain. It is a myth because after a year of providing liquid calories of a famous brand my daughter gained the same weight. It was only after I have stopped by the advice of her paediatrician that she has shown the interest in eating food.
Eating speed. The speed of feeding is a torment to the mothers' of picky eaters.Myself have tried to sit through the meal in the hope of feeding more. First of all, it is frustrating for both mother and child. Eventually, the child keeps the food in the mouth and a sense of fullness comes over. Start with reasonable speed and do not linger the process more than 20 to 25 minutes. Instead, you can opt for feeding a few more times. Small meals help the kids to eat more and faster.
The yummy smell of fresh cooking. Allow your child to sit around nearby to smell and observe the food. An aroma of fresh round fulkas or the melting or butter or ghee on the roti would help them to increase their appetite or sense of hunger. My daughter loves to eat fish, so frying fish with her sitting nearby induces her to ask for food. It makes the feeding process easy.
Cooking by kids: many researchers have said that makes a kid interested in the food. At first, I was sceptical about it. After a few trials like homemade burgers with different patties, she would be proud to eat it as she has herself cooked it. All that she has done is to make the patties, and I have pan fried it. She puts her favourite sauces and eats one. The patties can be vegetables or chicken all homemade. Omellete if stirred by her is eventually yummier and finishes it fast. So to some extent, it worked.
Homemade fast food for binge eating: you can make small burgers or cheese stick. Finger food is easy for the kid to eat and at the same time do not require a lot of time to feed. Mini vegetable balls or meatballs. Mini sandwiches. Even a small chapati filled with desired fillers or mini egg rolls are perfect calorie rich finger food.
Lastly distracting the kid while eating: It is the last resort but works well when a kid watches the favourite tv show or reading some stories. This may become an addiction but still the goal of feeding the kid more than the usual works.
All through the primary objective is to maintain the subtlety and tricking your child to eat more. Do not overdo anything . If the child is conscious, he or she will resist. Do any of these combinations and routinely change it to eliminate the boredom.