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Children and food fads

Newsvia_kid fads

Children food and fads

The 21st century is the era of changing trends and almost everything has undergone a drastic shift from conventional to modern. Every few days a new diet sensation is launched over the internet and the world seems to go crazy over it and Parenting becomes the most important to kid food habit. Some of them might be good and some may not be, but mass media and internet spread the word so much that even adults get influenced, then how can be children be an exception? how can we get over child food fads??

 

Newsvia_kid fads
Young toddler boy eating messy pasta, Newsvia_kid fads

‘My son doesn’t eat veggies”, “my daughter creates so much fuss to finish her fruits”, “my child eats a burger so easily but does not even look at homemade food”, if any of these statements sound familiar to you, then probably you too are dealing with a child with food fads.

Like everyone loves his/her own independence, children too love to act according to their own will. They have specific likes and dislikes for foods like most adults do. Children who are referred to as fuss-eaters have a tendency to refuse food. It is a part and parcel of their growing up as they learn different ways to behave according to their own will.

Parents’ main concern during the infant and toddler age group of their children is his nutrition. Every parent wishes that their child should eat all the healthy things and should get all the essential nutrients. But it is very difficult to execute. Children exhibit so many tantrums while eating that it seems like an endless job for some parents to feed their child with the right things. It is a situation of frustration for the parents if their child does not eat properly. And if the saga continues the frustration is soon turned to anger and dining table can turn to be a place of war. Hence it is very important that a child’s meals should be given attention right from the period of starting complementary feeds (feeds other than breast milk).

Children tend to get attracted to fast foods more easily as compared to homemade foods. But the question is, who introduces them to the world of junk food? No one other than the parents themselves. So it is very important on the part of parents as well that they pay utmost attention to what they are giving to their child. Many children exhibit “food-jags” i.e, they refuse to eat food which they have been eating previously, cooked the same way just because they get bored eating the same stuff every day. It should be clear to parents that food refusal is very common in toddlers and can be dealt with certain simple ways.

Newsvia_kid fads_3
Newsvia_kid fads_3

Here are some of the things a parent has to understand while developing the diet habits if their child-

  1. Maintain a peaceful and happy environment while the child is having meals and avoid stressful measures like forcing the child to eat by threatening him or scolding him. Instead, use positive reinforcement like praise or rewards while your child tries new foods or finishes his meal properly.

 

  1. See to it that your child has his meals with siblings/rest of the family members as a child learn a lot by imitating their elders.

 

  1. Make sure that your child eats just the right things since childhood. The less the child is exposed to junk food, the more chances he consumes healthy food. It is advisable to keep your child away from fast foods, chocolates, aerated cold drinks etc.

 

  1. Avoid discussing food dislikes in front of your child.

 

  1. Set a good example before your kid. If you are not eating certain fruits or veggies, how can you expect your child to do so?

Some simple tips and tactics to develop right food habits-

  1. Be rational about the quantity of food that is served at once to your child. Start with a small quantity and praise your child if he finishes the meals or demands for more.
  2. Try to serve food in different ways. One can use different shapes to attract the child’s attention. Garnishing is also an important factor which can make food look great and help in increasing the child’s interest. In short, make the food more presentable.
  3. Small and frequent meals should be preferred as against 3 meals a day. Try incorporating healthy foods in the meals like chapatis, hard-boiled eggs, yoghurt, fruits, shakes, nuts, cereals etc to provide variety as well as nutrition for the growing age.
  4. Children often love spending their time with pots and pans in the kitchen. This can be used as a tool to develop an interest in food in the child. The child should be involved in making choices for dishes to be prepared or given small tasks in cooking like spreading butter on bread, in order to create interest for food.
  5. Mealtime should be limited to 30-40 minutes and the child should be asked to finish his meal within that time. If the meals are left after an assigned time, then food should be removed from the table without showing any anger and no milk or desired snacks should be given immediately if meals are not finished.
  6. Take your kids outdoor sometimes. Food seems to tastes better when eaten outside hence a picnic lunch at a park or some outdoor spot can serve as a change for the kids.

 

With all the above tips one can definitely bring about the change in eating patterns of his/her child. But the bottom line is one has to do it all by maintaining peace and patience. Nowhere should the parent show anger or despair. It is very important to have a positive and cheerful approach. After all, it is very well said that “where love sets the table, the food tastes best”.

 

For more knowledge and details stay with us.

 

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