At some time or another, I believe that all children go through a stage of being a picky eater. If mealtimes are stressful and are usually accompanied by tantrums and puddles of tears, then read a little further on as I explore more about picky eaters and the best way to ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients that they need, to keep their growing bodies healthy.
With the fear of deficiency disorder, low immunity, dental problems and childhood obesity, it is no wonder that parents of picky eaters are looking for the answer, to put their mealtime woes to rest. But to help our children, we need to understand what makes them a picky eater.
Studies show that picky eaters act out for a number of reasons which vary from the thought that mealtimes are a form of punishment or reaction to the promise of rewards. Children may also be experiencing the change in their appetite which is associated to their growth. The reason could also be as simple as extreme sensitivity or dislike to the taste, smell or texture of certain foods.
How to identify a picky eater?
- Refuse to eat
- Play with food
- Eat less than usual
- Dislike vegetables, fruit, meat or milk
- Dislike chewing
- Demand the same food at every meal
- Prefer ‘junk food’ to healthy food
- Make a mess at the table
- Throw tantrums at mealtimes
Picky eating is a normal childhood behavior which can leave us, moms, feeling alone and ashamed. Isn’t it strange how we believe that our ability to feed our children, and our child’s dislike for food is a direct reflection on our ability as a mom?
What can you do to help?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all the nutrients and vitamins that your child needs, packed into a single glass of tasty goodness? It’s time to say goodbye to difficult mealtimes and say hello to PediaSure Complete.
PediaSure Complete is a complete and balanced nutritional supplement (scientifically-proven), ideal for the picky or fussy eater. Pediasure ensures that children who are fussy eaters receive the nutritional support they need to grow and develop normally, while giving moms complete peace of mind that their child’s nutritional requirements have been attended to.
Is it really that easy to ensure that your child isn’t missing out on any of the essential nutrients? To put it simply, yes!
PediaSure Complete gives your child all the nutrients they need so you can watch them grow up healthy and strong:
- Contains 28 vitamins and minerals
- Provides essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- Favourable oil blend: easily absorbed and well-tolerated even in those with impaired fat digestion.
- Iron: supports rapid growth and promotes catch-up growth
- Growth support:
- contains all the vital macronutrients in correct proportions
- contains protein
- provides adequate carbohydrates and calories for energy and healthy weight gai
Looking for some tips on feeding your fussy eater?
PediaSure has a helpful and comprehensive website which offers support and guidance to parents of picky eaters. They have also included some handy (and tasty) recipes which look so good that mom might even sneak in a nibble!
- Step by step: Introduce only one new food at a time instead of serving a completely new meal. For example, if you want your child to eat an unfamiliar or new food, try to introduce it with something familiar.
- Be positive:Some children have negative associations with some foods. Try to alter the form and texture of that food to change the association into more positive ones. For instance, some foods remind children of ‘hospital food’ or ‘hotel food’ and they refuse to eat them.
- Make mealtimes relaxed and fun:Avoid watching TV and other distractions that may lead to overeating or losing interest in food. Talk to your child about the day and share your own experiences so that your child looks forward to mealtimes.
- Involve your child:Involve the child in buying food by taking him to the supermarket or letting him choose the menu for 1 day a week. This not only teaches decision-making, but also increases involvement in the preparation of meals. Let your child set the table or help you clear it.
- Educate your child:Look for opportunities to teach your child the benefits of healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
- And remember to ALWAYS keep a watchful eye and stay calm:If you notice your child is preoccupied with being ‘thin’, introduce discussion of the hazards of eating disorders. If the problem persists, see a doctor.
This post is sponsored by PediaSure®Complete. The comments on this page do not constitute medical advice. Your healthcare professional is best placed to evaluate your child’s growth and development. Should you haveany concerns or questions, please seek advice from your healthcare professional? For product-related questions, contact the Abbott Nutrition Support Line on 0861 22 68 87.