FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
are some food-related facts you should memorize as they are essential to
your survival with toddlers and little children.
and most importantly, if a child is offered adequate food, he will never
starve. Research has shown that toddlers when offered a wide range of
foods three times a day, selected for themselves (without adult assistance
or instruction) diets which were wildly unbalanced day by day but perfectly
balanced in the long term.
Trust the internal rhythm of the child' body - if he is hungry he will
eat. In this respect he is just like a wild animal.
- All foods
contain calories, but the calorie content of each food is different.
A child who seems to eat very little food may be eating it in a high
use food as a reward or punishment, bribe or threat. If he is
hungry he will eat. If not he won't. Giving food emotional overtones
can lead to severe eating disorders such as overeating or anorexia.
is an excellent food and very convenient package of the nutrients children
need in an easy-to-take form. But as the child grows, he needs more
solid food. The ratio of food to milk should be 80 - 20% otherwise the
child may suffer from anemia.
Expert view - By and large, parents in India still put
a lot of stress on milk in the child's diet even once the child
has started eating proper food and is getting calcium from a
lot of other sources. As a result of such an overemphasis of
milk the children don't take in enough iron-rich food. Actually,
if about 80% food is given as compared to 20% milk then the
chances of iron deficiency are much less.
are bad for your child's teeth. Sweet food eaten quickly will do much
less harm because the acid produced from the sugar in it, is gone from
the mouth before it has time to eat into the tooth enamel. A lollipop
sucked slowly over time can do much greater harm than a piece of chocolate
- Choose sweets, which dissolve quickly.
- Encourage him to eat all of the sweet in a relatively short time.
- Discourage sweets such as fudge that stick to teeth.
- Make him drink water after eating a sweet.
- Give him a piece of cheese after the sweet, as cheese has a cavity-fighting
- Don't use sweets as rewards and treats otherwise your child will not
only like the taste but also place an emotional value on them. He will
want sweets every time he is hurt, tired or miserable or as proof of
your love for him.
- If you use sweets as a bribe for doing something unpleasant he will
learn that he is owed compensation for doing unpleasant chores or happenings
in his life.
sweets out of the emotional arena and treat them as you treat
other nice tasting foods like mangoes.
- Snacks are said
to be rubbish foods or junk foods. By and large however they have the
same nutritional content as other similar foods. The problem with snacks
is again an emotional one. Snacks are by definition brought because
the child wants them, they are chosen by him and are eaten because he
wants to eat them rather than because you want him to. As such it becomes
more desirable to a toddler.
answer is to treat snack foods as foods rather than as a treat
or something to be avoided at all cost.
A child should
not get chips because he has been good anymore than you would offer him
a carrot for the same reason.
the child the kinds of food he likes best occasionally as a part of his
regular meals, while keeping healthier foods freely available for eating
between meals whenever he is genuinely hungry.
§ Discourage soft drinks, coffee and tea. Soft drinks have little
nutritional value and high sugar content which is harmful for teeth. Coffee
and tea have stimulants which children don't need.
§ The best way to inculcate healthy eating habits is to make mealtimes
a family event where all the members sit together and discuss their day.
palate is born a clean slate, the tastes that develop depend on the foods
introduced to him and the parents attitude towards various food items.
feeding your child right, right from the start
Keep white out of sight. Refined foods like white bread,
polished rice, sugar and desserts rob the body the body
of its much-needed iron.You may not like brown bread but
try introducing it to your child as it is the healthier
off introducing sweet foods as long as possible. For example
start by introducing yogurt without sugar. Let the child
get used to food without too much additives.
Serve the milk straight- don't add additives in the hope
of disguising the taste of milk. Let the child relish the
actual taste of milk.
Spice their diet with variety.
Make exceptions-instead of a complete ban give into treats
Let your child eat plenty of dried fruits along with the
Don't substitute fruit juices for fruits as they are higher
in sugar and lower in fiber.