Picky eating is an eating disorder that prevents the consumption of certain foods. It is also known as selective eating disorder (SED) and frequently viewed as a phase of childhood that is generally overcome with age. In the afflictions of picky eating, babies, toddlers, and latency age children are more common. In children, feeding problems are characteristically mistaken for the more benign picky (preference) eating behaviors. Also, they are hard-wired and neurological. Picky eating is responsible for some far-reaching effects including nutritional, interpersonal, behavioral and developmental, altering the sense of self and self-esteem, family relations, sociability, as well as academic and professional performance.
Almost one out of twenty children between the ages of birth and 10 refuse to eat or only eat limited numbers of selected foods. Picky eating leaves its victims at risk for malnutrition and failure to grow normally. Some diverse clusters of personality can also be taken place in some problem feeders, covering a spectrum of broader, more pervasive, neurologically-based dysfunction which compromises the person’s existence; these might include sensory integration disorder (SID), Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD), Asperger’s Disorder, and/or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD.)
Autistic children tend to be extremely having picky eating disorder when it comes to what they will or won’t eat. However, new research findings that appearing in the August issue of Paediatrics shows that infants who will eventually be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be slower to eat solid foods and be pickier eaters, but, it doesn’t seem to affect their growth and development compared with children without the disorders.
Keep in mind that early childhood is a development period and in this period they are growing very fast and so they need a lot of calories. As a parent, you should care too much about the quantity and quality of food that your child takes. You should provide three well-balanced meals each day and it is important to keep in mind that younger children will only eat one or two full meals each day. If your toddler has had a good breakfast and lunch, then it is okay if he doesn’t want to eat much at dinner. Here are some solutions for picky eaters.
The American Academy of Pediatricians and the Pediatric Health Center at CHoNJ offer these suggestions for picky eater child:
- Pack lots of nutrients into your meals by adding grated veggies into baked breads, muffins, pastas and soups.
- Even if your child refused a food once, try serving it again.
- Let children participate in preparing food so they are more anxious to eat it.
- The mealtime environment should be pleasant. Conversation should take place. Mealtime is not a time for watching television or arguing.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods yourself, providing a good example for your child.
- Prepare foods in fun and interesting ways, such as cutting them into fun shapes or adding a smiley face.
- Eliminate or limit high calorie drinks. Your child may not eat the foods you provide if he or she is drinking too many calories from juice, soda or whole milk.
- Offer the child a favorite food if he or she also eats something that isn’t well-liked.
- Having a set schedule of breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and bedtime snack helps children know that there is a meal coming every two to three hours and that they will not go hungry.
- If your child refuses a meal or snack, there will be another one in a few hours and he or she should be able to wait until then. When children are hungry because they chose not to eat, they are more likely to eat what is offered next time.
Solutions to Picky Eaters:
- Eat Together and be a role model by Setting Examples:
If you want your child to display good dinning manners, it is of highest importance that you yourself eat healthy. There is no satisfaction like the pleasure of watching your child eat. Go ahead and try the possible combinations to get your child to eat.
- Avoid giving options:
On the dining table, you need to make sure that your child is served the same dishes which have been served to everybody else. If the child rejects to eat what is served, you can give something of his choice as a snack later; try converting what you had made for dinner to a snack. It functions for the parents too because they can avoid meal time battles and change the same meal into a snack and serve later.
- Don’t completely refuse the entry of Fast Foods in house:
Avoid too much entry of fast foods in house but don’t completely refuse the entry of fast foods in house. Convince your children that these foods can be had but only in small proportions and only after finishing their snacks is advisable.
- Involve Children in Shopping for healthy stuffs:
It is a good idea to involve your child in shopping for your ingredients as grocery shopping with children increases their involvement in selecting and later cooking the meals. So, the chances of the meals eaten by them go up.
- Educate your child about food pyramid:
Also, you can educate your child about food pyramid, if your child is mature enough to understand. Educate your child about the different groups of food and their functions. For example you require lots of vegetables and fruits because they contain fiber that can prevent constipation.
- Minimize serving drinks or Juices during Meals:
Most frequently, the kids fill themselves with these drinks and then refuse to eat later. Sodas and juices are lack of nutrients and also they are responsible for dehydration. For drinking purpose, water is always a better fluid choice. If you desire to give the juices (in between meals), make sure that they are freshly extracted or 100 percent pure juice.
- Be patient when it comes to new food:
A child will try new food when he or she sees it for the first time. A child may require to be exposed with a new food for at least 10 times previous to he or she develops trust and wants to try it. So, be patient.
- Distract them:
Give a sheet of paper and a few crayons or a pencil to your child or read out a story book to your pre-schooler to help distract his attention and make meal times, fun times.
- Serve when hungry:
Previous to mealtime, never serve snack which can affect your child appetite. So, your child should be moderately hungry at mealtimes.
- Do not waste time decorating:
Decorating and making fancy shapes out of food may help because it may encourage a child to merely try but ultimately it is the taste and liking that encourages a child to clean the plate. However, to make
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