Toddlers have always been fussy eaters and parents can’t help but worry about it. And while we all try to do our best when it comes to feeding our children, many often resort back to feeding their kids junk food since this is the only thing they seem to eat! However, it is vital to fill your child’s belly with food that is both fresh and nutritious, not just processed snacks! Just like adults, kids need important nutrients like proteins, vitamins, omega 3-fatty acids, and carbohydrates which most of the “kid foods” unfortunately don’t have!
Fussy eating has become a common symptom in kids because each one of them has a varied taste. Each kid will become picky about the things they like to eat. This causes deficiencies in them in the long run, which usually gets difficult to overcome as they age. As a result, kids start getting irritated with the smallest of things, end up having a poor appetite or suffer from headaches, witness slow bone and muscle growth, dizziness, stomach infections at regular intervals, and many other alarming signs. And many of these last all through adulthood as pickiness can last a lifetime – just as my Mother-in-Law!
So how do you make sure your kid is well-nourished? With at least one in three kids under the age of five being undernourished, every child must be fed with the best. Here we will highlight the best ways to feed your children nutrition-rich food that they will actually love. These foods will help to build your child’s immunity in the initial years, and will also help to develop their emotional, physical, and mental abilities, as well.
However, if this still maintains a struggle, you can take the child to a nutritionist or can go with an online nutrition consultation, to help! They will provide the ideal diet advice to increase their energy levels or help them achieve the perfect body weight. They will help you plan the meals and look forward to rectifying any pertinent digestive issues, and will also recommend a few supplements that are good for their health. This routine will help the child to remain stress-free and improve their sleep cycle.
Importance of Nutrition in Early Years
The age of 2-5 years is crucial for a kid because what they eat today has a major impact on their health in the coming years. This is when children grow the most, and they need wholesome and adequate nutrition. This will ensure their brain cells are developing right, bones and teeth are getting strong, and their mind is learning to focus. In such times, micronutrients like iodine, iron, and vitamin A are needed in the most adequate quantities. Consuming nutrient-dense food will help the kids meet their quota of micronutrients.
It is important to develop good eating habits in your children as it helps to combat common deficiency diseases. Their food habits will eventually fall into a pattern and by eating nutritious foods, issues like stunted growth, cognitive delays, or weakened immunity can be avoided.
What Essentials Must All Kids Receive?
When designing the diet of a pre-schooler, there must be the inclusion of nutrient-dense foods. The food must be filled with vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. These five essential nutrients provide the child with better cognitive health and help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. So, what should they ideally be consuming?
- Protein-rich food like eggs, poultry, beans, seafood, and nuts
- Grains like oats, quinoa, millet, and brown rice
- Fresh and seasonal fruits in varying colors
- Green leafy vegetables along with the colored vegetables
What Happens if the Child Refuses the Food?
Even if the child refuses the food, make sure they are consuming the right quantities at the right time. There are a few easy ways with which it can be done.
- Offer them the best and the healthiest solutions possible. Give them options then let them choose what they want; it will be a win-win situation for you.
- Try being funny by renaming the foods with quirky names. Kids always love funny names and interesting stories attached to them.
- Be their role model. Start consuming healthy food yourself and set an example in front of them. Their observation is going to teach them a lot.
- Teach them to cook a few easy and healthy dishes. They will be encouraged to play the chef and eat the things they cooked.
A healthy child has a healthy mind. So, try to incorporate these methods into your daily feeding routine to keep up with their nutrition. You can personalize these methods according to your kids, and you will see a gradual improvement in their eating habits. Always look for interesting recipes to keep your child excited about eating and most importantly, be a good role model.