My little girl is 18 months and has never shown much interest in food. She is a very fussy eater and won't let me spoon feed her anything so I am forever trying different finger foods. She goes through days where she hardly eats anything. Most of the time she won't even open her mouth to try the food and other times she takes it and spits it back out. How can I encourage her to eat? Any advice on getting her to eat would be greatly appreciated as this worries me so much.

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Apart from involving your child as what many have suggested, you can also consider this suggestion that I have. But, it may sound a little extreme so it is really for your consideration. My suggestion is that you can try stipulating fixed meal times whereby you will sit down and eat with her. Once the time is up, the food will be taken away. I’m suggesting this because from what I’ve read and heard from my friends, children will not let themselves go hungry for prolonged period. Hence, when they are hungry and cannot get their way, they will resort to eating what was given. Sounds very harsh but this would be beneficial in the long run. And having you eat with her at meal time may help encourage her to be more interested in her food. During the meal, get her to feed herself just like what you are doing (children also love modelling their parents). Tell a story and make the session fun and engaging. You can also share with her fact about the food, e.g., carrots have lots of vitamin A and are good for your eyes! See, mummy is eating her carrots so that she can see things well! If you are worried that your little girl would starve, offer milk in between (but not too close to meal times) or offer a tea break of sandwiches (again, with you sitting down and eating with her) and see if she is interested. It would definitely be tough at the start as all children are resistant to changes to their routine and habits. So be clear that this will be a new rule that you are implementing (can say that this month is “eat with mummy month”,, quite apt since Mother’s Day is coming up). Just a suggestion. Good luck!

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My daughter was one such girl :'( She hated meal times, and it was such a chore to get her to eat. Meal times in public is a nightmare as she rather play than sit down and eat. I stopped forcing her to eat, and eventually kept telling her during meal times each time that she has to eat because there will be no food afterwards. So if she's hungry then, she has to wait until the next meal time. It may seem a little too drastic and harsh, and it was extremely difficult the first few days but we stood firm with her and nowadays, I don't have much of a problem with her. I don't spoon fed her either but she has her own cultinary so she copies us and feeds herself.

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Apart from the suggestion given above, if you are feeling helpless and have tried all sorts of methods, e.g. BLW and etc. you can let your kid attend picky eater therapy at KKH. MY friend's daugther was a very picky eater too and it affected her speech development. During the therapy, specialist will guide you on how to introduce different textures to your baby, as some babies refused to chew due to they prefer pureed food. The specialist will access your baby's condition first and guide accordingly. If you can get a referral letter from polyclinic to go for the therapy, one session costs about $40.

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Why don't you try making her meals with her? Start with something simple like pizza where you let her add (healthy) ingredients to her own pizza? Perhaps she doesn't want to be spoon fed. You could let her self feed. It may be messy in the beginning, but once she gains control of the spoon, you'll find that there will not be so much mess. Try the Num Num feeding tool. It's a great tool for toddlers. Usually, they'll be more open to eating something that they have created.

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U can try to talk and her. Making her to have interest in food is important. Have u tried things like baking, cooking with her? She may developed some interest in the food she make. Alternatively, u can try to get her to choose the food herself. From there, u night be able to know what is she after.

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You may want to let her eat by herself. Some kids when they reach a certain age, they want to be little adults which is normal. Encourage her if she wants to eat by herself. Isn't it good to be independent? Praise her and at the same time educate her, teaching her how to feed herself.

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