A child’s nutrition is significant in determining his health and well being today and also the health and wellbeing of the adult he will grow into.
We as parents are often told not to fret about what our child eats. In reality, while we have the intent to give the best possible nutrition to our children, we are not sure how to give that right nutrition. There are several factors, issues and speed breakers that hamper our efforts towards providing the best nutrition to our children.
I recently got an opportunity to attend an informative and insightful event curated by Abbot Global and PediaSure to highlight the common challenges we face when it comes to child nutrition and how we can deal with them given the modern day circumstances.
The expert panel comprised renowned paediatricians Dr.Samir Dalwai and Dr. Mukesh Sanklecha, Dr. DhariniKrishnan, a leading consultant dietician, and actress Lara Dutta. They acknowledged the major concerns we face as parents when it comes to nourishment, nurture and parenting in general and gave their expert advice on how to deal with these concerns.
These have been my major takeaways from the event:
Food delivery at the click of a button
In today’s day, a major challenge when it comes to meeting the daily nutritional needs for our kids and for ourselves is easy availability of outside food. While the food we order in or eat outside of our home may be tasty, it is deficient of nutrients.
Experts suggest being mindful of what we choose to eat. Make sure that the food contains all micronutrients like Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat in large quantities and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals in small quantities. While eating out is inevitable, restrict it as much as possible. Also when eating out make healthier swaps and be watchful of the nutrition intake by monitoring the ingredients of your dish.
Prolonged Eating Hours
If you have a fussy eater at home, you’d know how one meal time is stretched for long, making it a stressful activity for the child and for the one feeding him.
Experts suggest having a structured meal time. Feed your child in a pleasant environment with less distractions like televisions, games, loud music etc.
We often offer the quantity of food that we think will be right for the child, ignoring his cues. Serving a certain quantity and expecting him to finish it, may create an impression to the child that he has to eat it even if he is full.
One of the best advice the experts gave us was – “Parents must determine what to eat and when to eat, but help the toddler decide how much to eat.”
Don’t encourage food biases
Experts advise us that this will only encourage food biases in our children. Children should be encouraged to eat the same meal that is prepared for the entire family.
Also, in today’s age kids are overly exposed to screen. Experts have declared that this is an addiction and parents must plug off.