Why many American kids eat while Indian kids are picky eaters…

Let me warn you that its a very looong post …I have tried to make it exhaustive… from one mother to another šŸ™‚

My background :

I shifted to USA from India 2 years back… I have a son 5 years old who embodies the definition of PICKY EATER … He eats only white rice, white mac and cheese, white plain dosa, white noodles and white cheese pizza to the extent that he used to ask us to remove the red sauce from the pizza ! As an infant he did not eat any khichdi or dal rice if he saw a black thing whether its jeera or rai !
He proudly says I don’t like Indian food to my horrified face …. I know that I made him like that to some extent ….This is how…

  1. I used to trick him into eating…. distract with toys and books..sometimes tv… shove spoonfuls of dal rice in his mouth when he wasn’t looking
  2. When he said his stomach is full I pushed him to have one more morsel
  3. I used to hate his meal time because it was battle time … now I realise he hated it too…
  4. I played with him only during meal times so he wanted to extend the meal time…
  5. The responsibility of feeding him was always mine… I used whatever I could to put food in his stomach to the extent that I scared him with wolves and policemen to get him to eat !
  6. I had enough and more number of people in India telling me that I was not doing enough…. your son looks patla (thin) …. he looks dull…

Now, I have a daughter who is 10 months old and I decided to feed her the American way… You know whats the result ?… As of now.,..she eats every damn food…and I hope it continues… this is what I did

  1. Food is not a big issue any more… I have already seen the worst… So she eats at meal time which is generally a gap of 3 hours..basically when I know she is hungry or when I put her in her high chair and she doesn’t protest….
  2. I give her morsels from my plate in her high chair table which she eats on her own…she eats in the real Ayurvedic way (https://enjoyingyourkids.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/how-i-feed-my-daughter-10-months-old-in-ayurvedic-style/) of exploring the texture, color, smell, taste and eating at peace without anyone staring down her shoulder…. When she stops eating and starts throwing, I stop giving her the bites…
  3. I let her mash the steamed vegetables in her hand ….she makes a huge mess but I know that this is a smaller problem than u know what…..šŸ™‚
  4. I try to give her more food from my plate rather than ready food so she doesn’t grow up thinking she is meant to have different food….
  5. The responsibility of feeding her is her’s…not mine… my responsibility is only giving her the food….
    I have not killed her curiosity about things …I have used it to get her to try new foods….no force feeding at all….

Changes I made with my son now…

  1. I made peace with the fact that he doesn’t like Indian food… He doesn’t even like its aroma… !
  2. If he eats plain rice so be it… so everyday his lunch is cucumber, plain rice with lots of ghee as he loves ghee and curd….
  3. If he is playing and I am eating , i ask him to join me… he is busy playing…so I say “do u want to play for 5 min and then join me ?”…he says “no ten min”… So I set the timer for ten minutes and go and start eating…When the timer rings he either joins me or continues playing…I don’t force him to join me.. I eat my food and start doing other work…He comes to me half an hour later as he is hungry… I tell him food is on the table but i am busy so he can help himself….He does that….. But i don’t get him to eat food he does’nt like by keeping him hungry …its always food that he likes…
  4. For dinner I am changing the dinner to American, Italian, Mexican for all of us…. I am discovering it is much easier…
  5. I started looking at food as protein, grain, dairy, fruits and veggies and not dal rice etc…. so i try to give him an egg a day for protein, rice for grain, one fruit (generally in a box when he is travelling for any activity) , cucumber in veggies and milk for dairy… this way he is happy and so am I…
  6. Meal time is relaxed and fun time…not a stress time for anyone…
  7. The responsibility of feeding him is HIS and not mine… I just give him food options which always include one thing that he likes….
  8. If he doesn’t want to eat dinner, there is always toast and crackers for him…
  9. I always try to be well rested because I find I lose my temper over food very easily when i am tired…

Believe me, looking at your child enjoying his food (whatever it is) and relishing it , is a supreme JOY !

Its better to have the wrong food with the right attitude rather than the right food with the wrong attitude..

Do share this with people who can learn from my experience…

I will love to know your views too…

Till then Enjoy your child… šŸ™‚

166 thoughts on “Why many American kids eat while Indian kids are picky eaters…

    1. Same story with me my 9 yr old daughter is so fussy and not interested in food.With my 10 month old son I applied BLW.He eats everything by his own with interest.I’m more tensed about my daughter she never eats salads, eats fruits by force.Take 1 hr to finish meal that to by repeated sayings.šŸ˜• helpless…

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    1. Ha ha. That’s a good realization, as it is I feel Indians have s special attachment towards food and feeding their child. I realized this After my marriage the only question everybody was concerned about was if I COOK!!!!
      I think the child can only eat what he/she likes and whenever he/she is hungry.. So chill ! As long as kid is growing along the percentiles he/she should it’s OK..

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  1. Hi,

    Lovely piece.. I have the same experience with my son.. So with my daughter, I started Baby Led Weaning where i give her food and she explores it and then tastes it.. I have realized that babies give cues and we have to as parents understand these cues. Not just with eating.. With each aspect of its life.. Treating baby as an individual and respecting its cues help rasing a child much more easily

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  2. Well said. We too learnt the hard way. With 7 and 3 years old, we started eating together. We all sit at the table until everybody is done. No more separate cooking for kids and us. Kids eat whatever we eat.

    We sold our iPad, the biggest culprit on ebay.

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  3. what you have done is really good thing.. To cultivate certain habits in a child this is required..When you understand child’s psychology,it becomes easier for a mother to handle a child….

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  4. Excellent writeup. I always planned to do all that you wrote when I was pregnant, then things changed and I got carried away by the kids way. Now with this reminder, I hope things get better for me too. šŸ™‚

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  5. Lovely piece of advice ..right in time for us …thank you god !

    Its a little tough we must accept..be it patla *thin*…when they feel hunger inside they definitely come back…

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  6. what is ur rush to make him become responsible so soon.. i still remember eating with my grandma she use to mix rice and make a small ball out of it and give to me i will just relish it and eat it.. leaving kids on their own way is just going to make u detached , probably these might be good for kids who leave their mom at 18 yrs .. just my 2 cents

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    1. Hi Kasi , maybe we should ask your grandma the secret of feeding you food …. If I touch my son’s food with my hand he feels it has become dirty … He wants to eat from the spoon and he needs a different spoon for everything he eats … So one for rice , one for curd , one for desert …I wish it was as easy as feeding him by my hand !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually have made my daughter like this different spoon for every thing. I cant imagine eating by hand and I was not born and brought up in USA. I or any one touches her cooked food with their hands and I have battle ground at meal time. what ever you said in this post is absolutely correct

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  7. Omg my daughter is just like your son! Meal times are a battle ground for both of us. I probably should now try the american way šŸ™‚ Thank you so much for writing this.

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  8. found this on FB, loved the article. Can I add just one more tip to the method of teaching your kid to eat a variety of food?

    tell the kids they should always first try a new food to decide if they like it or not. they can’t reject a food by the sight factor. It has to be the taste factor.

    Serve just 1 spoonful ( or 1 bite) of whatever it is and they have to try it. If is goes on the reject list, don’t serve any more. But everyday they got to try every variety of food you made. So, over a period of time, having eaten a spoonful of it a no. of times, its becomes an acquired taste and for all you know, they begin to like it one day and ask for more.

    I got this tip from our pediatrician (also a nutrition speciaist and has written this very popular book – “how to make kids eat and like it too” )

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    1. I tried this yesterday but my five year old refuses to taste Indian food … It’s something about the way it looks …. Or maybe it brings back bad memories to him šŸ˜¦

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  9. Dear,
    I saw your blog post making rounds on facebook and tired mothers are in agreement. But I think you should not think all Indian kids do the same. It bound to happen when you don’t follow your american peadetrician carefully and since very beginning of your kids birth. I can see your first kid is not born here so he may be picky eater but your second kid who is born here follows the amrecian way of eating. Mostly second kids are easy, and you don’t care about their food habit much as you are already involved so much with both of them that you hardly pay attention and that’s how they ( second ones) learn to eat by themselves ( which is very good )
    People say I am very lucky that both of my kids (3.5 & 1.5yrs ) eat but I say I maintained a food habit, table manners and decepline, most importantly I blindly followed my american peadetrician’s advice and instructions for my american born kids. Don’t try to give an Indian way of food habits when they are born here and will be brought up American way with American kids in surrounding.

    And no offense to any mother here but it’s 90% mother’s fault (I can understand the pain and agony as I too struggled many times ) if your kid is not eating because how can you expect your kid to eat carrots when you have never introduced carrots in the beginning years of his life ( when its utmost important to introduce all kind of foods ) or even if you did you must have lost the battle in few trials .. It’s a battle of patience too .. Give him carrots 20 times, let him throw 100 times .. They will ultimately eat carrots when they are hungry and they learn that no matter how much I show my disinterest in carrots I will have to eat it eventually.
    And exceptions are always there so yes I have seen few kids who are typical.

    And please please please dear mother DONT EXPECT YOUR KIDS TO EAT FOOD WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE GIVEN THEM 8oz OF MILK 2 hour before meal time.

    Wanna follow american style, follow wholly!
    Thanks if you let this comment visible to all!
    Pallavi

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    1. I was in US before. I went to India for 2 years just for the sake of planning a baby and delivering it in India. I planned my baby in India. I delivered a healthy baby boy in India. When he turned 1, we came back to US. He is 16 months old now. He eats everything. I am a vegetarian with eggs. But my husband eats non veg. So both of them eat Chipotle chiken for eg. with a wide smile on their faces. He eats Thai food, mexican, all fruits, all vegitables, raagi, all kinds of milk, all yogurts, Indian and American food with the same interest. It’s not where your child is born-India or America. It’s how you had taken care of your foods and moods while carrying that baby inside from day 1. I ate everything. All kinds of food; from pani puri to puran poli, from mexican to south Indian. My boy picked up the same attitude towards food.
      I dont want to point out the superiority of any countries food over the other. All i can say is we are blessed to have access and knowledge of so many places in the world. We should be intelligent enough to pick the best from each. Dont ever stick to one type of food. You dont know, your kids might travel the world when grown up. šŸ˜Ž
      My dear, you are doing a great job with your son. Make sure he eats variety of food and have his supplements of vitamins, or iron if necessory.
      Take care! Enjoy this phase.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. True that! Make the child try EVERYTHING and see how they take to it. Like you said, the first coupla times might be the toughest. Weather through that, and you’re a happy camper! At least until the next meal :-/
      I grew up in the old-fashioned “just listen to Authority” method but hey, today I’m a healthy eater who’s none too fussy ^_^ Do the same with our kids, I say. Me, I LOVE my veggies and yeah, I gotta thank my folks who ensured “you’d BETTER eat what’s on your plate”. Definitely wasn’t the “let the child decide what and when to eat” but hey, I think I vouch for this šŸ˜€

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  10. Its just not the American way but smart mom technique.. Am working and my baby gal stay day in and out wid my mother in law. And trust me she is a genius… she trained in just the similar fashion and today my life is much less hectic then moms who crib and have to run after their kids for it…Love your child.. let her grow as she wants too.. she know better about herself. But really nice attempt to share with all newbie mom.. Keep posting

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  11. very nicely written! Before having my baby I would scoff at mothers who are running after and nagging and pressurizing their kids to eat. But once I became mother, I found myself following more or less the same pattern. The fact that my baby was underweight throughout (since her birth till now) made things more stressful for me. The tremendous pressure to get her to gain some weight made me think that the more I could shove down her throat the more chances that she will gain some weight. I had no trust in her when it came to eating. But after trying it for 2 years – overstuffing her, giving more fats like butter, almonds etc., numerous doctor visits, I have given up this false notion now. My hard earned learning to all the mothers of thin babies-

    there is no direct relation between the amount of food a baby eats and her weight gain. It all depends on the body metabolism and we cannot do anything about it.

    The baby will eat whenever she is hungry and like Meha said its her responsibility to feed herself not the mother’s responsibility and mothers should not feel guilty if someone says your baby looks thin. I am trying to make amends for watever I have done wrong with her. Thankyou Meha for this wonderful post.

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    1. Nice post though not agreeing with some points.where the kid is born not at all important.if he is elder or younger not important.new mothers always behind first child for feeding food so there may be some problem but by the time second vchild arrives energy level comes down so running is not there.whatever elder one eats or family eats same for second child.other thing is indian food is said to be wholesome food with all nutrients.as a ayurvedic dr myself i always stressed on eating maharashtrian food bit now my kids …son 15 yr daughter 11 yr wants to eat chinese,punjabi,or burgers and pastas its a treat for them which comes as a reward for healthy eating habits.if they are eating 6 days home made traditional food traditional way they get treat at the end of the week.also if they eat all vegetables in pasta,pavbhaji,noodles,pizza then i try to cook all these at home in healthy way so win win for both.
      Being a picky eater is a phase which changes with time,habit,situation so we mothers should be patient enough.
      Long one but i think its my experience….

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am having same experience with my 4 yr old so n n 11 months daughter. She eats herself but very little quantity n she is very thin. but my son is still a fussy eater. I should change myself towards his eating habits. Will give a try what u said. Thanks for sharing valuable information.

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  13. Awesome post. I too deal with the same thing with my 16 mos old toddler. But as you know mothers are never satisfied with what their kids eat. My lil one eats when he sees advertisements on TV….

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  14. Totally loved your post…every word made me walk through my own horrible experiences..at least your son had some likes and dislikes but for mine milk is the only form of food he ever thought of..hungry means having milk not food…has been an uphill journey in developing his tastes and have brought him to the level of him eating various food stuffs Italian Chinese Indian American and all with his own hands…but loved your article truly..

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  15. Wonderful post. I also have a 3 year old daughter, who eats EVERYTHING we give her, but only if she is busy with games on my cell phone! Now I want to change this as my husband believes in mindful, thoughtful eating. So here is what we are doing.. we allow her the phone and tell her to eat 3 bites without looking at the phone and once she does that( quick as lightening), she is allowed a minute of games. After that again 3 bites. This way, she eats faster and during her 3 bites, she is only looking at the food, and her plate and chewing mindfully and I keep reminding her the taste, color and type of food she is having.
    I also have a 3 month old baby, who would be starting semi solids soon, so I am going to be more careful about focused eating.

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  16. Very nicely written! If I could add to this -getting children and your partner involved in the cooking process also helps as it becomes a shared time with the parents and you will realise what a wonderful way to spend. I have a 22 year old who eats consciously and cooks wholesome meals and I take the credit cause we enjoyed preparing meals together since he was 2.

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  17. I am an ABCD SAHM of a 4 year old girl. My husband was raised in India. I have always followed the “American” way of feeding my daughter. I serve the food and she eats as much (or as little) as she wants. I give her choices between different healthy foods and serve her while we eat together. I haven’t spoon fed her anything since she was 16 months old. Whatever she doesn’t finish in half an hour, I take the plate away and “let it go.” My daughter is only in the 19th percentile for weight but she has a positive attitude towards food. Most of my SAHM mommy friends are American raised of different nationalities (white, Japanese-American, also ABCD) and all our kids ENJOY meals because we let the KID CONTROL how much they eat rather than us controlling it. In contrast, most of the India raised moms I know have food battles with their kids which has caused everyone to dread mealtime.

    My in-laws came here for a visit from India in the summer of 2013. My daughter was 2.5 then and there were times she’d just nibble on her food and my in laws SCOLDED me for not making her “finish” her food and insisted on running behind her and bribing her with TV so they could “hand feed” her to try to make her fat. I had to tell my husband to make them stop this habit.

    My daughter is on the skinny side but she’s healthy, active, and in good spirits. Most importantly, she has a positive attitude towards food. That’s priceless.

    I spend a lot of quality time with my daughter; doing art projects, singing, dancing, playing, running at the park, and visiting zoos and children’s museums- NOT running behind her with a plate of food trying to force her to eat as much as I can by bribing, distracting, or scaring her. That’s also priceless.

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  18. Great post! Loved it! and “Its better to have the wrong food with the right attitude rather than the right food with the wrong attitude..” is imprinted on me.
    Meal time is gonna get better with my lil princess now. Hopefully!!!
    Thanks a bunch!!!

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  19. Maybe I missed this, but where is any mention of the father? I’m assuming you and most commenters are married Indian women – not single parents. Why is this a woman’s battle? Just a question that’s a bit tangential from your post.

    I’m an Indian man with nieces and nephews, no kids of my own. Doesn’t mean I don’t care for those kids like mine. But this post is close to my philosophy. Nature shows that a hungry animal (we are animals, don’t read too much into this word) will eat. When they are not hungry, they won’t. I understand that you want your kids to eat at proper times etc., but if they’re not hungry why force feed them? I really liked the commenter who said don’t feed milk 2 hours before a meal and expect the kid to eat. Folks just put food in front of them that’s cooked well, and don’t fret if they don’t eat. Your kid will not not grow or turn into something if they skip a meal or two until they find their rhythm. This is all about you forcing your insecurities on your kids. Leave them alone and they’ll do just fine.

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  20. This is so on point. I think a lot of this has to do with those around us who pressure is into thinking it is wrong to be “thin”. All babies should be chubby. While I was pregnant,I was told what to eat so the baby would be big and have light skin!!! My son was born at 5 lb perfectly healthy. Nonetheles, I disn’t allow him to direct me as to when he was hungry. Instead, I would shove a bottle of milk in his mouth while he slept! As he started on solid food, we distracted him to eat. He is now 13 years old and still is a horrible eater. I blame myself for this. He takes almost 2 hours to eat dinner. With my younger son, things are completely different. He was born at almost 8 Lbs. I have taken a much easier attitude with him and he is a great eater. With all that said, I think a lot of it is also set in the womb. Just eat healthy and varied foods while pregnant. And let your child guide his eating and hunger

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  21. Loved this article. I am married to an Indian man so I have seen both styles of feeding. I think that there is a fear in india of malnutrician especially in children because sadly there are more hungry people in india. USA has opposite problem too many people are overweight. All the media here is stressing dont over feed your kid lol! While my inlaws stress that my daughter should eat more and more because they say she is too thin. My daughter is 4 now and when she was young I would put food in front of her and let her just eat freely. She loves all food. Since we are a masala mixed family the food is a mixture of indian and continental. She loves chanas, roti, her favorite food is aloo parantha, she also loves pasta. Many of my husbands indian friends hand feed their kids well in to school age. I have literally seen them chase their children popping roti in their mouth. Someone I know pops in a movie a d distracts her daughter while shoveling food in her mouth. While mine sits on her own eating her food. I think this is all done out of love and a bit of fear of a malnourished child. I think the only reason americans are different is the fact our doctors and media is stressing obesity in children and the danger of over feeding. I think kids are self regulators. They eat what they need. There are days my daughter eats less there are days she eats constantly all day. Her doctor says her weight is perfect. I think the key is what you do, provide a balance of protein, fats, carbs, and vitamins and minerals.

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  22. kudos to you!! You have stated exactly what I have been feeling for the past 3 years. I have made my child a picky eater…she was not born like that. I can say that I am improving and making meal time a pleasurable experience for my child.

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  23. Thanks for the very insightful post and sharing your experience. In the case of your boy, how do you manage a balanced nutrition though? Research has firmly shown that nutrition balanced with vitamins, proteins, minerals, fat and carbohydrates have a 5-8 % impact on brain development and a big impact on temperament. If it is just toast and crackers, how do you accomplish the balance? Thanks again for sharing

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    1. Hi Sridhar , I have heard that kids complete their nutrition requirements in a week … Lunch is always rice curd and cucumber … For dinner , some days he has toast , one day he eats chicken at Panda Express , one day is pita pocket day , one day is khichdi without the black black šŸ™‚ , one day lemon rice … And to top it all I give him pediasure powder in milk once a day which we get from India … This is like a multi vitamin … So I am not stressed if he doesn’t eat …

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      1. Hi Meha, thank you for clarifying. That they obtain the nutrition needs over the course of a week is good to know, so that gives plenty of chances to average out. Your point about bringing some variety in, also for sure makes it easier on the child to take an active interest in food and explore. Cheers sridhar

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  24. Mehaaaaaaaaa I luv u for dis post ……. am sure my kid is gonna luv me once I put all these into action ….. will reply soon with my achievement šŸ™‚

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  25. Sad…!! Feeding time can be a time to increase love and bonding. Its simple goal is to provide nutrition to the child, but that is not all that the child needs. It is not one method versus another. Its the parents ability to grow the child in the best way. I do not like articles that pit one culture against another. Sorry.

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    1. Hi Sandeep , I am not saying that Americans are better than us Indians … It’s just a comparison of American style of feeding with my own Indian style of feeding šŸ™‚ we should be open to learning from other cultures without berating our own right ?

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      1. Hi Meha. Yes, Exactly one is not better than another; and each child’s needs and each parents abilities are different. One must adapt and experiment as well. There is also a difference between first child and subsequent children (as the parents stress level is different), additionally – the second child is learning by watching the first child, which means that impact of the changes made from one child to the next is in fact little compared to how the second child is learning to begin with. (so we may be giving credit to changes we made rather than the changes already in the environment). Vegetarians need to spend a lot more focus on food, diet, and healthy eating (need to balance proteins, vitamins and iron) – which is one of the reasons why Indian parents/culture spends more energy on feeding time.

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      2. You know Sandeep, the funny thing is that the Indian culture didn’t involve running behind the kids to feed them… I spoke to my grand mother because they had 9 children growing up together in joint family…. the mothers were so busy with household chores that they never gave their children as much stress for food as I gave my first born ! They were so practical …they had timings for food and kids chose what they ate from the options on the table… I asked her about the picky eaters and she said they would eat only rice or only chapati and it was totally fine…!

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  26. I am not agreed with this post….I would never enjoy this habit what makes my kids immune system down….rather i would prefer to develop a healthy way. Their are hundreds of way to make them healthy food lover.

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  27. There is not Inidan or American way, its completely depends on the parent. Its Good at-least you learned , many parents still following their way and complains on their kid.

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  28. so true..I can correlate with it so well .. we as Indians always make it top priority abt food but forget the pain we are giving ourself for kid not eating..
    Very well written I have 2.5 yr old and few weeks back I was in same boat were feeding her was nightmare for me and her.

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    1. You put your child through physical pain too when you try to shovel food in their mouth when their body is telling them, “NO”.
      I love my daughter WAY too much to make mealtime torturous pain for her! Food should be pleasure! No kid will willingly starve themselves to death barring a rare medical disorder.

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  29. Like what Durga says feeding is dependent on parenting style and temperament not dependent on type of food. . You have learnt new things with the second one. . All parents do. . So please don’t glorify american parenting cause the other side of story is blaring . .

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    1. Agree! I have seen kids who are extreme ends of picky eaters and have to depend on multivitamins. Many of them eat very little and throw the rest in trash! So no point generalizing this way or that way… Good parenting is about teaching good habits! And Indian or American – doesn’t matter as long as your child is healthy and strong from inside.

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  30. I read your post regarding the food habits manifested by your Son. I observe that he is under lot of stress from his peers, of he being from an Indian race. Thats why he doesnot like any food to eat which is colored. Because, he wants to be like other light skinned kids. Please talk with him what is going on in his school especially the peers views on Indians. Knowing it from them is a big deal. Since they donot know whats right or wrong perception. Changing school might help him to get over with, if that be the case. I am commenting on this because, I too had the same problem with my son when he was in kindergarden. He wanted to have only american, mexican food. I found the underlying issue and changed the school district itself. Hope this helps too.

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    1. Wow! I am so shocked to read this- so basically you are saying it’s ok to teach your child to not stand up for their heritage. Mexican food is not american but Mexican and accepted so why not Indian food? My son complained too about not taking Indian food in the beginning and then I taught him how similar are our food – quesadilla is the Indian Paratha, butter chicken is curried chicken, fried rice is like chinese fried rice. Instead of changing school district maybe we should change the child’s outlook and confidence about his/her heritage. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just trying to give a perspective since I have seen many indian parents feel safer in avoiding situations rather than go through them.

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      1. I am not saying to not to stand up for our heritage. Practically and reality, The kids are very young to understand what they are undergoing in a school environment. Of course, I taught my kid to know my culture, food and heritage. But they cannot comprehend because they are hurt by other meaner kids. We need to show a safe environment to our kids where they learn how they should respect other cultures and food. You know, changing school solved my problem. Immediately after the change, I saw a drastic difference towards the food behavior.

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      2. Ms Chatterjee, you are getting at the unspoken side. The author is mostly taking about toddlers (1 – 4yrs) and why parents should not spoon feed them or force them to eat certain food types independent of the culture (ex. Pizza, white noodles or Dal) . I think it might help for the elder kids to compare food types and see the similarities

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  31. I believe that humans eat when they are hungry and as much as they want. My 8 year old daughter is picky eater but I have never force fed her . She eats what she likes and knows when to stop. She was born preemie but healthy. I like what you said “right food wrong attitude vs wrong food right attitude”. Force feeding never will work. Thanks for the post.

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  32. Interesting feedbacks from so many moms. I came to US 8 yrs back with my son who was 7 month old who was trained to eat Indian food. Daal, rice, lightly cooked veggies, light cooked fish curry, chicken, egg – everything formed his usual diet. And once food was laid – he was given opportunity to explore. My mom always told me do not mix everything – put them in portions and let the child explore and savor the flavor and aroma of the food. Food cooked with love is for laying out with love and not mash it up šŸ™‚
    I followed the same pattern for my second child- born here but through and through desi food lover. Both my kids love taking indian food to school – They respect the Indian food and are proud to discuss the indian food facts with their friends- so much so that some non-indian kids friends who come over are not shy to try rice and daal- and I am not exaggerating. When you teach your kids to respect food, they grow with that teaching!! And a little effort from the parents’ end to make some mouth favoring delicious hot meals šŸ˜‰ goes a long way!

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  33. I am also a mother of two kids. I feel it’s not about the American or Indian way, it’s about adopting the right way. Every child is different and so what may be right for your kid, may not be right for my kid. Every mother instinctively knows what is right for her child. It may be difficult, but eventually following the right way gives the right result. Personally, I feel that allowing your son to think of ONLY cucumbers as veggies is not right. Veggies of all colours have to be given to kids on a regular basis for thier numerous health benefits.

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    1. Hi Manju, I will love to feed all vegetables to my son but you can only bring a horse to water… You cannot make it drink…. My son eats carrots in school and cucumbers at home…sometimes (once a month) he eats spinach in pasta… that’s it… he sees his sister eat most vegetables but refuses to even try them !

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  34. I have a 4 yr nephew and i still see him fussing with food….frankly i get scared as i now have a 5 month old daughter and wonder if she would do the same…..
    I have already set plans to feed her, reading u’re blog confirms me , what i was thinking would work……lets hope it does.
    Thank u

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  35. Hi Meha, I’m a father and i really liked your blog. I really get scared looking at my wife while feeding my year old son. Except for the initial few spoons, most of the food is force fed and this makes my wife really tired. I usually help her feed my son during the dinner and on the weekends. She dose all sorts of things that one could imagine being a Indian if the quantity of food consumed is reduced even by a spoon. This will really help my wife to understand the behaviour of kids. Thank you for sharing your personal experinces.

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  36. I so agree with this concept… But only my 18 months old son made me realize that kids are not difficult to manage.They r not fussy. They need to be understood as we need to be understood. Now i see my Elder son like to eat on him own and what ever he likes is provided.
    My younger son amazed me : He would sit on the table mess up the whole place but he is not at all a fussy kid.He is not fussy coz i was so happy that i would give him whatever he asked to eat.

    Kids can sense our frustrations and anger. Thats not what they expect from us.I am sure none of us want to be called the frustrated and anger parents.When we handle our kids in such a negative manner, they tend to give negative and unpleasant behavior towards us .

    WE do not want to win a race, we want a happy and peacefully and enjoyable journey.

    THAT WAS THE LESSON I LEARNT FROM MY YOUNGER SON AND NOW I APPLY THE SAME WITH MY ELDER SON.

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  37. excellent post!! All the points that you’ve mentioned are so true. I do both for my 1 year old. Her meal times are a combination… Some meals I suppose she is hungry and some she fusses around. She is getting better. Hope it stays!!

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  38. I am not sure of the given idea. When I leave her to eat on her own, she takes only 2/3 bites and run away. She is already thin.

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    1. It’s better that she takes 2 or 3 bites on her own than be force fed an entire bowlful to have it vomited out. At least what she eats willingly, will stay in her stomach. Desi kids have been force fed so long that their appetite often shrinks. If you leave her alone and let her eat small amounts on her own and let it go and do NOT stress about it, she’ll eventually eat a little bit more- SOMETIMES. There are times my daughter only takes a few bites and is “full” and other times, she’ll wolf down an entire sandwich and fruit and ask for more. The key is letting the KID be in control, not you.

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  39. The blogger has pin pointed the main aspects neatly. My viewpoint is that we should serve them what they like or they want to try not what we want. For ex. why should we offer Dal with cumin and mustards when actually the kid just needs to try the protein filled dal. May be plain dal with ghee might do a job, but we tend to serve them adult food. My 4 yr son disliked aloo paratha, but later like Chini paratha (simple combi of sugar & flour to satisfy their buds), although as a Dad I would have prefered him to eat the first type.

    I don’t agree that American /European kids eat everything, we probably don’t observe them enough. I have seen Swedish kids (because I live in Sweden) ignoring all sort of food & some kids loving even green vegetables in combination with hotdogs and meat i.e kids are different.

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  40. My 2.5 yrs son is also a fussy eater… He eats mostly doodh n roti with jaggery and now-a-days a little bit of sabji.. I have to force him eat this.. Only when TV is on he sits at one place and I feed him.. but he keeps his bite for so long in mouth that when I try to give him next bite he starts chewing the earlier one.. I get so frustrated and start shouting at him.. I don’t like this but have to do to make him eat the food. It takes hours to finish the meal.
    If he is hungry he just keeps asking for sweets or goli’s or chocolates etc and never wants roti or rice. He likes to eat namkeen, wafers also.
    In some of the above posts its said that let kid eat what every they want and don’t force feed them.. But I think giving sweets/wafers/namkeen every now and then is not right.. What to do in this case?

    Thanks
    Mitali

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    1. Hope you do not mind me saying this but sorry to say you are doing everything wrong. I would not put him in front of a TV set and feed him. Do not force him to eat, give him a small portion and let him eat on his own if he does not eat that is fine, he will ask after sometime so give him the same food, and if he still does not eat he will not starve. Giving him all namkeen and goli etc is not good for him. Do not make feeding time a battle time. Since he is 2.5 he might not understand at first but you have to explain to him again and again in a calm manner. You too sit and eat with him at the same time, make it a habit to put him in a chair at meal time so that he is not running around.

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