ASK THE DOC Get your picky eater to fin­ish her meals faster.

Got a ques­tion? Our ex­pert is here to help.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

How can I wean Q my tod­dler off un­healthy snacks?

A For a start, get rid off junk food in the house. It’s coun­ter­pro­duc­tive to have your spouse eat a pack of chips in front of her.

Ex­plain that you’re mak­ing the change not to pun­ish her, but to make her stronger and smarter – and re­mem­ber to share your sen­ti­ments with the dot­ing grand­par­ents, as well.

Stock up on her favourite healthy foods. Al­low junk food only oc­ca­sion­ally, but not as a re­ward. Set a rule to use only a small bowl, with no sec­ond help­ing.

How do I get my Q tod­dler to fin­ish her meals faster?

A If your child is fuss­ing, move her away from the table calmly and al­low some free play for five to 10 min­utes be­fore at­tempt­ing to feed her again.

Don’t in­sist that she fin­ishes ev­ery­thing on her plate. Re­spect that she has eaten enough, es­pe­cially if meal­times drag be­yond 30 to 45 min­utes.

Nei­ther should you use un­healthy food or elec­tronic de­vices as forms of bribery. Avoid say­ing: “Eat this veg­etable and I will give you ice cream later.” In­stead, of­fer more par­ent-child in­ter­ac­tion time, such as cud­dles or a trip to the gro­cery store.

Make pos­i­tive com­ments about nu­tri­tious food and be cheer­ful dur­ing meal­times. If your tem­per flares, she’ll as­so­ciate her mis­be­hav­ior with at­ten­tion and this can re­in­force picky eat­ing.

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