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Challenges And Solutions Regarding Child Nutrition

Challenges And Solutions Regarding Child Nutrition

A child’s nutrition is the most important aspect in determining his health for the rest of his life. Their nutritional requirements differ from adults. Children have to grow and their requirements keep changing as they age. Hence, there are various challenges and solutions regarding Child Nutrition.

Also, childhood is the best and only time to build good habits that will help them throughout their life. We often encounter child nutrition cases; from a 6-month old baby to adolescents.

Common issues that parents bring to us

  • Parents of infants usually come to us when either baby is not growing properly or not eating well.
  • Parents with school-going kids often complain that they are fussy eaters.
  • Kids around 10 years and above that require nutritional aid may be overweight or underweight or have medical problems such as insulin resistance, etc.
  • Some may have medical issues.

But after talking to them, we often realize that the underlying causes are related to:

  • their eating habits,
  • mother’s lifestyle preconception and during pregnancy,
  • bond with their families, family patterns, etc.

Common mistakes, challenges, and their solutions:

  1. Mother’s lifestyle: Not only during pregnancy, but her lifestyle before conception also affects the baby’s health.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important to avoid complications such as obesity, diabetes later on for her as well as for her child.
  3. The baby starts learning in the womb itself. So, the mother’s eating habits, stress levels, even thoughts will pass on.
  4. If the mother’s lifestyle is not appropriate, she may face issues during lactation. And hence, formula milk may have to be given.
  5. Feeding formula milk: It is a common scenario these days that mothers provide formula milk instead of breastfeeding during the first 6 months without a medical indication for it. We are well aware of the nutritional, psychological, environmental benefits of breastmilk over formula milk. Besides, formula milk contains high sugar and preservatives. This taste builds and eventually, kids crave high sugary foods later on in life.
  6. Eating habits: The most common challenges parents share with us are- ‘my child is not eating enough or he doesn’t like normal food, he is very choosy, he doesn’t eat without the screen, etc’

How to create healthy habits

Remember, children learn from their parents and surroundings. Even before being born, they pick up everything. So, good eating habits firstly come from their parents.

  1. Make sure the kids eat along with the whole family at the dining table. They must feel that this activity is not just for them.
  2. Prepare the same food for the children and the family. No doubt, children need more variety and creativity in food, but the basic food should be the same.
  3. Let the kids (starting from 6 months and above) eat by themselves. Even if they make a mess, they leave half portion, and rest mother has to feed.
  4. It is important for the babies to feel the texture of the food. Allow them to make a healthy connection with food.
  5. No screens while eating. Most kids these days have a habit of eating while watching. Some parents even tell ‘our kid doesn’t eat anything if we don’t play videos in front of him.'

What happens when kids eat while watching screens?

One of the major Challenges and solutions regarding Child Nutrition pertains to screen viewing and eating.

  • There is a chance that they will become picky eaters.
  • They will not understand body signals well. When we view screens while eating, our hunger and satiety signals become weak. So, the child will not know when he is full or when he is hungry. Eventually, leading to obesity in later years.
  • All the senses are not used when we eat while screen viewing. So the kid will not form a healthy connection with the food.

So, it is important that parents themselves avoid screens while eating for their kids do not catch the same habits.

Fussy Eaters

When it comes to Challenges and solutions regarding Child Nutrition, we cannot forget choosy kids.

  • Many children play tantrums and become choosy about what they will eat. Few tips for parents:
  • Do not give in to their every demand from day 1. They may cry for a while, but they will come back when they are hungry. After all, they are human.
  • Try all foods after 6 months gradually from raw veggies to cooked preparations. Give them time to adjust to new tastes.
  • Make interesting recipes. Try different healthy snacks, desserts at home. For e.g. if they don’t like eating raw veggies, make veggie rolls, grate them and add in roti, atta itself, make veggie cutlets, etc. Try homemade fruit yogurts/milkshakes, date and nut ladoos, etc.
  • Processed food: Do not give any processed food. Even formula milk, biscuits, breakfast cereals for kids are also processed. Processed foods contain high sugar, salt, chemicals, preservatives, etc which are never good for our health. Eventually, it is very tough to make them eat homemade food later on.
  • Overpampering: Another thing that we have observed is parents or grandparents overpamper their children by giving in to their demands, giving processed food or gadgets as gifts. Or by overfeeding them. especially grandparents, out of their love for children, they keep feeding. Instead, they can buy them toys or clothes but not processed food. And if Rani Laxmibai can fight for her son, a mother can definitely make her elders understand.
  • Physical activity: Children are very active. They keep running around or playing or jumping. Which is good. Parents must make sure their kids play outside and not indulge in video games a lot. Plan day outs, picnics, hikes.
  • Do not overburden kids with study pressure: We came across a client whose 5 yr old kid’s routine was going to school early in the morning, coming back, eating in 15 minutes, again going to tuition, having dinner, and sleeping. Imagine!

They are kids! Kids are supposed to play outside, study without pressure, build good habits. They are not supposed to decide their careers at 5!

In conclusion, building the right habits in children starts very early and totally depends on how you shape them. Parents are role models for their kids. The kind of lifestyle, eating habits we show them, they will copy that.

For customized healthy child nutrition diet plans,

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