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Nanny to the Rescue: How Can I Curb My 4-Year-Old’s Picky Eating?

Nanny to the Rescue: How Can I Curb My 4-Year-Old’s Picky Eating?

Our in-house nanny answers your baby, toddler and preschooler questions…

Q: My 4-year-old daughter is so picky and fussy about food that I cant help getting irritated most times. How do I curb her picky eating?

This is quite common with young children, so, try to get a hold on your temper and exercise more patience. That said, these tips should help…

  1. Don’t label her ‘picky’. This is waving the white flag, and reinforcing this behaviour.
  2. Provide healthy options to choose from before preparing a meal. This will make her feel in charge instead of feeling you’re imposing what she gets to put in her mouth. It also helps to bring some creativity and colour into what you serve. Involve her in the preparation process whenever you can. She’ll likely accept to eat what you prepare that way.
  3. After serving a meal, avoid offering what she wants if she refuses to eat. Serving your child something else will make her hold out longer next time to get what she wants.
  4. Indulge in healthy bribe. Offer a healthy reward for eating her fruits and veggies. Tell her, “I’ll let you play outside for an hour if you eat your vegetables.” Soon enough, your child may acquire the taste of that particular food and you won’t have to ‘bribe’ her to eat.
  5. Go the stealth route. For instance, puree vegetables with some tasty fruits, especially her favourites (if she has any.) If she likes it, keep serving more varieties. That way, she doesn’t miss out on essential nutrients, and both of you are happy!
  6. Practice what you preach; set a good eating example. You can’t snack on chips all the time and expect your child to settle for fruits or veggies.

See more helpful tips here.

Q: Please share simple tips on giving my baby stomach and back massage. Im a new mum, and been quite confused about those.


This water wheel blades tummy exercise helps babies release trapped air, so they can sleep peacefully. Do this every night after your child has had a bath.

  1. Apply some lotion or oil on your baby’s tummy.
  2. Press your hands firmly on your baby’s tummy below the ribcage, one hand covering the upper tummy and the other hand on the abdomen.
  3. Stroke in a ‘U’ motion around the baby’s belly button.


  1. Place one hand diagonally across your baby’s back, starting from the left shoulder
  2. Forming a wide side ‘V’, with both hands, place your second hand across, with your palms touching your baby’s bottom.
  3. Stroke diagonally, as one hand reaches the top of baby’s shoulder, bring the other hand down.
  4. Remember to sing softly as you massage. This massage will put him to sleep easily.
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