Nutrition is one of the key areas of efforts for parents during their kids' formative years, but a child’s fussy eating habits can be incredibly frustrating for a parent to manage. Before you resort to bribing them with a yummy dessert or fast food items like burgers and pizzas, let us explain why this happens. Five Reasons why your child is a fussy eater Taste: Young children often have mature and sweet taste buds, an evolutionary survival mechanism when they are born. For example, they may not enjoy having vegetables as much as a sweet treat which turns them into rejecting healthier food and makes them a fussy eater. As they grow up, kids may increase their liking for bitter or sour food with repeated exposure and if they are accompanied with something sweet and as their taste buds evolve. Composition of food You must have noticed your child prefers foods such as slices of bread, cakes, breadsticks, crackers, chicken nuggets, chips, over anything else put on the table. The reason here is that they do not have to put much effort into chewing and swallowing these foods as they are processed foods with no added nutritional value to them. The second reason why the younger ones prefer these foods is that they are all starchy carbohydrates. A child prefers carbohydrates as the preferred source of fuel. And because brain development is relatively rapid during their formative years, young children have a strong desire for such foods. Distraction and Appetite: Have you ever considered spacing out the timings of meals and snacks for your children? It may often happen that snacking close to mealtime may reduce their desire to eat the meal and hence take the edge off their appetite. It is essential to structure mealtime and snacks, especially without any screen in front of them. This can lead them to overeat when they grow up or simply not eat enough. Spoon feeding: Children will, of course, eat more if their plates are loaded with food by a parent, but that is not what we are looking for in the long run. The aim for young children is for them to internally understand their hunger cues and fullness quotient. It's best to let them self-feed under parental supervision to naturally know and remember the feeling of fullness. Activity levels: If your child has been running around the park during holidays, has had a busy day or has over-exerted his/her brains visiting a new place, learning a new thing, it leads to an increase in appetite. If they have no physical activity at all, in that case, they might not want to eat as much as they usually do. This essentially means tiredness and activity levels have a direct impact on children's appetite.