Medical Video: Tips for parents of picky eaters
After the second birthday, toddlers continue to develop new eating skills and eating habits. Often, toddlers can become unpredictable; on one day they like to eat, and on other days they don't like to eat. Foods that are refused to be eaten beforehand can be eaten happily outside the home.
Of course this event is confusing and makes parents confused, but it's a common diet for healthy and active toddlers. Very few children pass this stage without creating some concern and concern about how they eat.
Toddlers need a variety of foods every day from the following groups: fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals, meat, fish, chicken, eggs and nuts, milk, cheese and yogurt, for good health and growth. Low-fat dairy products can be included in the toddler's menu aged 2 years or more, but avoid low-fat dairy products in this age group. Limiting eating is not recommended for toddlers, because it can limit the energy and nutrients needed for your child's growth and development.
Eating tastes and when hungry for toddlers must be different
Toddlers have a changing taste. Streaking growth and changes in activity levels during the day can result in a large appetite for a while, followed by snacks and picking food later. Dinner is the most cause for concern, because maybe the children are tired or not hungry.
Some other reasons why toddlers often eat irregularly are:
- Drink too much - specifically, sweet drinks or milk
- Being too tired to eat or not choosing the food served
- Often snacking - this can curb appetite to eat the main food, although in general it does not matter if the snacks are eaten nutritiously.
What if your child refuses food?
Most children are able to balance food intake with activity when they are told to eat, but not forced. You can help by providing a variety of healthy and nutritious foods, then let your child choose. Offer children the same food with other family members, with various textures and flavors for balanced nutrition.
If your child refuses food, maybe your child really doesn't mind the food, but he just wants to test to see their influence on those around him. By thinking that your little one doesn't like the food, some parents can become frustrated. Some tips for dealing with food rejection are:
- Try to stay calm
- Don't force children to eat
- Let your child have favorite and not favorite food
- Offer new foods with known foods
- Provide a small spoon or a comfortable fork and chair
- Turn off the TV - use mealtime as an opportunity to chat
- Start with small portions and give more if the child is still hungry
- If your child refuses food, let your child sit still for a few minutes before leaving the table
- Be a role model for your child. If you eat well, they can imitate you
Have fun with food
You can use eating activities with toddlers to help them learn about food and nutrition. Allowing children to be involved in basic food preparations - such as washing or peeling vegetables, making sandwiches or salads, or cake with fruits and bread with vegetables - teaches them what healthy food is. Other learning opportunities include:
- Explore the shape, color, and how food is made
- Development of skills such as pouring, stirring, and cutting food
- Learn about cleanliness when eating, such as washing hands before touching food or while eating
- Share food with other people.
Choose a mild, healthy food
Eating snacks between meals is an important part of a child's daily activities. So make the healthiest, most nutritious and interesting snacks possible. His suggestions include:
- Fresh fruits and dried fruits
- Crackers with cheese or hummus
- Yogurt (can be frozen in hot weather instead of ice cream)
- Raisin bread, fruit bread, or baked muffins
- Biscuits, cakes, or bread
- Cut vegetable vegetables - remember that hard vegetables must be thinly sliced, shredded, or steamed for children under 3 years of age to reduce the risk of choking.
Always sit together and keep an eye on children when eating big or eating snacks, and enjoy food together.
Don't forget to choose healthy drinks
For some children who are busy playing and exploring, drinks can replace large meals or snacks. If your child's appetite is low, too many drinks can reduce the amount or variety of food eaten, or can affect a child's growth.
Milk and dairy products are an important part of children's food; about 3 small cups of milk every day provide a good amount of calcium for strong bones and teeth. White water should be offered at other times. Sweet drinks like juice are not needed.
Food at daycare
Child care centers provide an environment for children to eat with other people and get to know new flavors and foods. Some parents may find their child tired at the end of the day and less interested in dinner. This condition varies for each child.
Always ask about your child's eating habits from staff in day care centers, and give them important information about your concerns or problems at home. Working collaboratively with childcare staff can positively strengthen the message of healthy food and the importance of eating for your child.
Tips for teaching toddlers over two years
His suggestions include:
- Offer a variety of foods every day from good main food groups
- Enjoy eating together as a family
- Don't force your child to eat when tired or not hungry
- Offer water to drink, sweet drinks like juice are not needed
- Offer healthy snacks between meals
- Involve your child in simple food preparation
- Accept some food rejections without worrying
- Be a role model for your child and eat healthy food
Some important things to remember
- Most older toddlers are able to balance food intake with activity, if they are not forced to eat.
- Children must be given the same food as other family members, with various textures and flavors for balanced nutrition.
- Light meals between meals are an important part of a child's daily activities, so make the healthiest, most nutritious and interesting snacks possible.
- Encourage children to actively play and reduce time in front of the screen.