Question: My 3-year-old girl is a fussy eater, she just eats white rice with soup, sometimes she doesn’t like to eat but she drinks a lot of milk. Is she getting enough nutrients?
Answer: Don’t fret. This is a common scenario. You can try improving the nutritional value of the soup by adding different ingredients to the soup you make for her. By varying the ingredients in soup, she can still get a good amount of nutrients from just soup and rice. If she does not mind thick soup, you can try blending just a little meat or vegetables into the soup for her. Give her time to accept the different tastes and textures of the soup, before slowing coaxing her to accept other solid foods.
You can build on her love for milk and add other foods to the milk to get her to accept other foods and tastes slowly. For example, you can try adding fruits to her milk to make it into a smoothie, then slowly introduce other fruits to her milk.
In the meantime, do not give up on offering new food items to her in a stress-free environment. With time, she may be more accepting of new foods. If she has poor growth, do bring her to see her paediatrician, who will do a proper assessment and recommend either specialized milks which offer complete nutrition or vitamin supplements.
Dr Goh Siok Ying