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The period between 2 to 5 years of age is characterized by an increase in activity levels.his coupled with the small tummy of your child means that a range of vital nutrients needs to be combined in small feed volumes so that your child can consume it. This becomes especially challenging with fussy eaters, due to their unpredictable eating habits and limited food preferences. You can try adopting these simple strategies to positively enforce healthy eating behaviour in your child.

- Be a positive role model. Your child looks up to you; so, if you eat healthy food, your child may follow suit.

- Stock up on healthy, nutrient-dense foods instead of foods that are rich in fat and sugar only.

- Don’t try to force-feed your child, as it may cause undue stress during mealtime. Be patient.

- Introduce your child to one new food at a time, in small portions, along with the foods he/she likes. Offer the new food at the beginning of the mealtime, when he/she is most hungry.

- Try different foods with different colours, textures, and tastes; and let your child decide what to eat. In fact, let him/her choose the fruits and veggies at the store.

- Allow your child to help you during cooking, probably by adding ingredients, stirring, washing, baking, etc., so that he/she learns more about the food and is excited to taste it.

- Try creative ways of incorporating healthy ingredients into the foods the child already likes, e.g. adding shredded veggies to pasta, adding sliced fruits to your child’s favourite cereal, or making smoothies out of fruits.

- Make eating a fun experience–cut foods into fun shapes using a cookie cutter and present them to your child, ask your child to build his/her own pizza by adding some healthy toppings, or serve veggies or fruits cut into bite-sized pieces with a variety of dipping sauces.

- Make the family mealtime a happy occasion, as it encourages a positive attitude towards eating.

- Remember your child has a small tummy, but big nutrient needs, so, do not give up! Keep offering healthy foods to your child. It may take a lot of attempts to encourage acceptance of a new food; so, keep trying!

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