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Combating your child’s picky eating habits

A healthy diet involves adequate nutrient and energy intake to meet the metabolic requirements of the body.1 It is important to nurture healthy eating but most children undergo the phase of fussy/picky eating behavior. Picky eaters consume inadequate variety or quantity of foods.2 It may lead to insufficient intake of vitamins and fiber leading to a weak immune response and digestive problems.2 This can be a worrying time for many parents as they struggle to develop healthy eating habits in their child.3 If you are one of them these tips can be useful for you.

Build your kid’s interest in food

Build your kid’s interest in food

  • Try offering finger foods3
  • Use brightly colored plates and cutlery3
  • Involve children in menu planning and meal preparation3
  • Discuss the benefits of healthy diet1
  • Be patient and never force feed a child.3

Correct the behavior

Correct the behavior

  • Have meal time free from screens (TV, cellphones, tablets etc.)1
  • Encourage children to self-regulate portion size1
  • Try to give an appealing look to food1
  • Try to eat in a calm and relaxed environment and do not rush meals3
  • Eat meals together at the same time every day1
  • Use non-food rewards to provide motivation4
  • Model healthy behavior such as healthy food intake, moderate consumption of snacks and desserts1

Provide nutrition

Provide nutrition

  • Ensure that nutritious food is readily available at home1
  • Discourage consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, but do not prohibit a food completely1
  • Squashes and milk can fill up a child’s tummy, so avoid big drinks before meal times3
  • Give small amount of unfamiliar nutritious food repeatedly (10–15 positive experiences may be needed)4
  • If you child is not eating properly despite these measures, you can try vitamin C supplements like ‘Ascorbic Acid (Cecon Junior)’ to fill the nutritional gaps.

Check ‘The Role of Vitamin C in Protecting Your Child’ to understand the importance of providing vitamin C.

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.


1. J.Haines et al. Nurturing children’s healthy eating: Position statement. Appetite (2019) 124-133.

2. Wolstenholme, H., Kelly, C., Hennessy, M. et al. Childhood fussy/picky eating behaviours: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 17, 2 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0899-x

3. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/healthy-eating-children#toc-8

4. Taylor CM, Emmett PM. Picky eating in children: causes and consequences. Proc Nutr Soc. 2019;78(2):161-169. doi:10.1017/S0029665118002586

Get your everyday armour of protection​
How strong in Vitamin C is your family’s favourite dish?
Select a dish. Discover its Vitamin C content.

PHI2194493 June 2021

PHI2194495 June 2021

ASC Ref Code:

A141P051421CS, A033P101821CS, A034P101821CS, A035P101821CS, A036P101821CS, A037P101821CS, A038P101821CS, A039P101821CS, A040P101821CS, A078P101821CS, A079P101821CS, A080P101821CS

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

1Filipino Adobo Chicken. https://www.eatthismuch.com/recipe/nutrition/filipino-adobo-chicken,955699/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

2Sisig Recipe. http://recipeofhealth.com/recipe/sisig-561679rb Accessed 5 July 2021

3Crispy Pata (Deep-Fried Leg of Pork) Recipe. http://recipeofhealth.com/recipe/crispy-pata-deep-fried-leg-of-pork-306396rb Accessed 5 July 2021

4Chicken Inasal. https://www.kawalingpinoy.com/chicken-inasal/#wprm-recipe-container-33181 Accessed 5 July 2021​

5Pancit Palabok Made Easy. https://www.foxyfolksy.com/pancit-palabok-made-easy/ Accessed 5 July 2021

6How To Cook The Best Bulalo Recipe (beef shank soup). https://eatlikepinoy.com/best-bulalo-recipe/#Best_Bulalo_Recipe Accessed 5 July 2021​

7How To Make The Best Arroz Caldo Recipe The Classic Filipino Porridge. https://eatlikepinoy.com/best-arroz-caldo-recipe/#Best_Arroz_Caldo_Recipe Accessed 5 July 2021

8Kare Kare Recipe – Panlasang Pinoy. https://panlasangpinoy.com/kare-kare-recipe/#wprm-recipe-container-47391 Accessed 5 July 2021

9Sinigang. https://panlasangpinoy.com/pork-sinigang-na-baboy-recipe/#wprm-recipe-container-45253 Accessed 5 July 2021

10Beef Tapa. https://www.kawalingpinoy.com/beef-tapa/#wprm-recipe-container-30701 Accessed 5 July 2021

1Multivitamins. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/multivitamins.html Accessed 5 July 2021​

2Should I Take a Daily Multivitamin? https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/multivitamin/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

3Do Multivitamins Work? The Surprising Truth https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/do-multivitamins-work#what-they-are Accessed 5 July 2021​

4The power of vitamins in athletics https://training-conditioning.com/article/the-power-of-vitamins/#:~:text=They%20also%20help%20with%20the,micronutrient%20needs%20than%20non%2Dathletes Accessed 5 July 2021​

5Top Foods High in Vitamin C https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-vitamin-c#2 Accessed 5 July 2021

6The 10 Best Foods That Are High In Zinc https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-foods-high-in-zinc#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3 Accessed 5 July 2021​

720 Foods That Are High in Vitamin E https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-e Accessed 5 July 2021​

816 Foods That Are High in Niacin (Vitamin B3) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-niacin#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2 Accessed 5 July 2021​

928 Vitamin B5 Foods for Staying Healthy & Energetic https://medalerthelp.org/blog/vitamin-b5-foods/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

1015 Vitamin B-6 Rich Foods https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-b6-foods Accessed 5 July 2021​

1123 Vitamin B1 Foods You Should Include in Your Diet https://medalerthelp.org/blog/vitamin-b1-foods/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

1225 Vitamin B2 Foods Essential for Your Well-Being https://medalerthelp.org/blog/vitamin-b2-foods/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

1323 Vitamin B12 Foods to Feel Positive & Energetic https://medalerthelp.org/blog/vitamin-b12-foods/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

1429 Vitamin B9 Foods Great for Physical & Mental Health https://medalerthelp.org/blog/vitamin-b9-foods/ Accessed 5 July 2021​

Disclaimer: This site offers general health-related information and is not meant to replace expert medical advice. For questions on specific diseases, symptoms and treatments, please consult a healthcare professional.