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How can I get my child to eat food?

Q: My son is 1.5 years old. He does not eat except for his mother's milk. Whenever we try to give him anything, he throws all the edibles especially sweets. He has started losing weight. Is it serious or we should wait for the right time?

A:One and a half years is high time for a child to be having home-based foods. In fact the best time to introduce semi solid foods is around 6 months of age. The later we start; more difficult it is for the child to accept a change in diet. What you should do is, offer him family foods when every body else is eating. Let his plate be set, as it is set for all other family members and encourage him to eat the food cooked at home for every body else, on his own. Offer 3 main meals and at least 2 mid-meal snacks, which could be fruits, biscuits, milk, etc. It will to take time for habits to form, but the effort is worthwhile. Praise the child when he eats on his own, or finishes the portion offered to him. Avoid scolding, threatening and using distraction techniques like feeding while child is watching TV. The trick is to make the child enjoy the food as well the meal time so that he can look forward to it rather than dread it. Also see that he learns to eat healthy, home based foods rather than readymade snacks/ fast food.

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