Are your kids being difficult at mealtime? They’re not the only ones.
Worried about your kids not eating right? It’s probably because of feeding difficulties. Most kids facing growth risks face at least one of the many kinds of these difficulties. If you’re worried that your child isn’t growing as healthy as their friends, chances are that the cause is poor nutrition. There could be two reasons for this - a decrease in nutrition intake, and a diet that doesn’t cover all the key nutritional requirements any child needs during their nascent years of development. If you often find your child’s plate half full, he or she is probably experiencing the former, whereas if they are extremely picky about what they eats, they’re at risk of the latter.
Here’s something you’ve probably heard from other mothers, “It’s just a phase. They’ll grow out of it.”
Unfortunately, to be able to grow out of it, they need all the required nutrition in the right amounts. Not treating lack of nutrition as a genuine medical concern might lead to lack of height gain, poor bone health, lack of much required weight gain, a risk of childhood obesity, a critical drop in immunity that makes children vulnerable to recurring illnesses, and poor cognitive function that could lead to learning difficulties between the age of 1 and 10.
If you’ve inferred feeding difficulties as just your kids being stubborn, it’s not your fault. 3 out of 5 parents do that too. It’s unfortunately a misguided perception. Feeding difficulties actually covers any problem that negatively affects the process of providing food or nourishment, which could have a vast conglomerate of reasons.
Children who are picky eaters are as common as they come. 50% of 2-year-olds tend to display picky eating behaviour. At that age, there are no apparent changes that you see in a child. Making it commonly sidelined as a behavioral norm. What’s important to remember is that the impact of poor nutrition at that age only show up later. That’s why 30% of children below the age of 5 lack the essential nutrients required for healthy growth. The sooner you take the needed steps, the faster you reduce the chances of your kids being undernourished as they grow older.
There are a wide range of feeding difficulties that you or any parent would face through the developing years of their child. However, they are common enough to be categorised into three kinds.
- Picky Eaters – If your kids are extremely selective about what they eat, and are easily put off by specific tastes, textures of ingredients, and even smells or appearances of the dishes, they are definitely picky eaters. While it may seem like a trivial issue, the consequences of prolonged picky eating can impact their physical and cognitive growth in the long run.
- Limited appetite – Any kind of behaviour that leads to kids being quickly satiated with what they eat and easily distracted during mealtime, can be labelled as limited appetite. Limited interaction between the caregiver and the child can also lead to this. Toddlers are more likely to be disinterested if the person feeding them doesn’t seem as involved.
- Fear of feeding – Are you noticing any abnormal crying behaviour when you try to feed your kids? That could be because of some past incident during a mealtime that’s tainted the entire feeding experience for them. That isn’t something that kids can get over quickly.
Now we know what you might be thinking. How are you going to help your kids overcome all of these? Well, there is an easier way that allows you to go around the feeding difficulties rather than overcoming them. Try introducing a dietary supplement like PediaSure. A glass along with a balanced meal ensures that your kids never fall short of any nutrients needed for physical growth, and cognitive development.