It is strange when you talk about kids disliking meals. Yes, it has been a struggle with my elder kid because he was a very fussy eater. When I think about it, there is more than one reason why my kid dislikes a particular food item.
From the time he hit the 6-month benchmark, I initiated solids. Initially, it went pretty smooth but with time it got more challenging and took me to a stage where I lost all hopes. I breastfed him more often and solids took a backseat.
Coming back to the discussion, what are the kinds of food that kids may dislike? Penning down a few pointers as under
Food with very little exposure
Rice, daal and aloo were staple meals at home. Little baby considered it his meal and pretty soon it became his comfort food. We very conveniently fed him his favourite meal. A visit to the paediatrician put things into perspective. The staple meal had very little nutrition and we had to feed him foods that he was not exposed to. Just as us elders, kids are not open to change. It took me a lot of effort and time to get him to eat veggies.
Little missy loves sweets. I had the habit of putting in a little jaggery to her meals. This made her want more sweet and less spicy meals. Yes, she does eat mild spicy food but that’s definitely not her favourite. This made me come to the conclusion that kids have a taste preference too. If they like spicy, they will be pretty happy to gobble up the aloo of the samosa else they might even not taste the crust.
Let’s face it – we as parents are their first opinion leaders. We define what stays on their plate and what doesn’t. A vegan family will not have milk and dairy products on the child’s plate. This makes them dislike dairy in public; the same goes for vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. It is commonly believed that a mom’s choice at the time of pregnancy and breastfeeding plays a role in the child’s taste and preference. A mom passes on the nutrition to the child via umbilical cord during pregnancy and via breast milk during feeds.
If we look minutely, the food that a child dislikes is similar to either of the parent or someone at home. After all, kids are excellent imitators, aren’t they?