The period under 5 years old is the time when children begin to know how to choose food. It is not surprising if they often become more difficult to eat and make adults more picky.
Based on a survey, children tend to enjoy unhealthy junk foods such as sweets, chips, crackers, and drinks that contain fairly high amounts of sugar.
Problems arise when children consume too much sugar and fat. While the amount of vitamins and minerals is still far from ideal.
A poor diet can affect physical development and intelligence, in addition to affecting eating habits of children as an adult. Not to mention the effects on learning ability, diabetes, heart disease and cancer in the future.
Therefore, you need to be aware of four issues that lead to children not eating food – as quoted by The Sun:
Research shows that 90% of children do not get enough iron in the diet. This can cause anemia, fatigue and become irritable. This also causes intellectual and behavioral problems.
Children need iron-rich foods. To meet the iron requirement for breakfast, you can feed your child a hard-boiled egg with a glass of diluted orange juice. After that, feeding a main dish, salmon and broccoli are very good examples.
For snacks, you can give your child a piece of cake containing fruit. Dried fruit mixed with yogurt or apple pie with raisins can be a dessert for children.
Children often eat very often, suddenly refuse to eat food at home. Don’t panic if your child is at this stage. This is a common part of a child’s development under 5 years old that experts call “neophagia” meaning “new fear”.
Researchers say this behavior is quite common for children in the beginning to crawl and learn to walk. During this period, children often begin to enjoy foraging independently. Give your baby time to learn to adapt.
You must be more patient and continue to offer your child a variety of foods. You can start by asking your child to eat at the same table as an adult in the family.
3. Strange behavior
Some children often start to show strange behaviors with an increase in age. Refuse to eat if your baby sees a bowl of chopsticks or something new.
You have to remember that children are like adults. They have a number of different interests. Some children may not like simple processed foods like boiled, others dislike flavorful foods, others prefer soft foods and crispy foods.
Do not force your child to eat according to your wishes. When introducing new foods, it is understandable that it takes 10 times or more to convince children to eat the food.
4. Colds and flu
Give your child plenty of fruits and vegetables to help boost the immune system which includes preventing the flu in children.
A stuffy nose caused by a cold can reduce a child’s appetite. It is important to make sure that they are taken with supplements that contain vitamins A and D.
Vitamin A deficiency can impair immunity in children. Next, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, softening and weakening of bones in children.
If possible, take your child to a health center and give him free vitamins. Or, offer your baby a special milk containing vitamins. This is one way to increase your child’s daily vitamin A consumption.
When the above conditions happen to your child, there is no need to panic. There are two solutions you can take to ensure your baby is having trouble eating.
Drink a lot of water
Drinking milk or juice and water is something children often prefer over eating. Children need six to eight glasses (100-120 ml) of water a day. May be more if the weather is hot or the child is more active.
Dehydration can affect a child’s mood, behavior and ability to learn. Remember that the “thirst mechanism” in children under 5 years old is not the same as that in adults.
Children often do not realize they are thirsty. If your child is engrossed in play, they tend to let go of their thirst, so you need to give them water regularly.
Help your child function regularly
Children must be active for at least 60 minutes a day, so they eat better. The National Association for Sports and Physical Education reveals that young children should conduct physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. This can be done by dividing into three segments, each lasting about 10 minutes.
Children also need at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity (free play). Children can walk, play jump rope and run.
Usually at the age of three, children begin to enjoy standing on one leg. Train your child to climb, play ball, pitch, and ride a bicycle. These activities are all very healthy. To help children be happier and more excited, teach them to walk like a penguin or a frog, listen to music while beat with their feet … to make the atmosphere more happy.