Parents must know that children need balanced eating so that their bodies are always healthy and free from any disease. In fact, balanced eating can also help children grow.
However, what can be done if these children are too picky about food? Surely many parents face this problem.
To overcome the problems faced by most of these parents, the Nutrition Division of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) has shared six steps to overcome them. Here are some steps parents can take:
1) Among the steps that can be taken to deal with this problem is the way of feeding that is adapted to the child’s psychomotor abilities such as the ability to handle spoons, the ability to chew and use radial food. Sometimes, children are picky about eating because they are tired of being fed.
They also want to try to eat on their own because they see the environment as parents or other siblings eat on their own. Therefore, parents are encouraged to give their children the opportunity to eat on their own such as using a spoon and offering radial food.
2) Feeders should also be active (not careless) such as giving encouragement to eat and invite to add food and dishes. Feeders should also be responsive, for example creating positive interactions and good relationships with children as well as controlling children’s meal times (eating on time).
Create regular meal times so that children are familiar with the mealtime and indirectly teach their stomachs to be hungry at the same time. Therefore, it is easy for parents to prepare and ensure that the child eats adequately. Separate snack time with the main mealtime.
3) The environment during eating, including the rules, frequency, and feeds also plays a role in addressing this problem. There are some children who will tend to eat when there is peer influence.
Parents are also encouraged to eat with their children and adopt a healthy diet to be a good example for their children. Make sure vegetables and fruits are prepared and taken when eating with family members. Parents should be firm if children often ask for malnourished food and always educate their children about healthy eating.
4) Parents or food providers can invite their children to prepare meals together such as washing vegetables, chicken, and so on. In this way can indirectly attract the child to eat the food he prepares himself.
Parents can also decorate the food to make it look more attractive and provide food with a variety of textures and shapes. Parents should not give up quickly when the child often refuses food. The food should be introduced more often so that the child can accept it.
5) It is undeniable that the process of feeding children is very challenging. However, parents should ensure that children are given nutritious food so that children get enough energy and nutrients for growth and good health for their future. Practice healthy eating habits from an early age. Try different foods because each food has different nutrients.
6) Children tend to picky about food because they are already good at judging which foods are tasty and not tasty. They already have their own favorite flavors. Family influence or peer influence can also be the cause of a child choosing to eat. Also, as children get older, they become more busy exploring and playing. This also causes children to be picky about eating or eating in very small quantities.