You may know that prolonged fussy eating in children may cause nutrient deficiencies and a weak immune system. It’s important we understand the typical behaviours, long term effects and consequences of fussy eating to find possible solutions.
Parents concerns about fussy eating and growth in India
As a parent, we often get worried when it comes to the right growth for our child. When his weight and height does not match his age, we often find the answers in their eating habits. Where the child accepts certain kinds of food and rejects others. This can potentially lead to children becoming fussy eaters. And parents then have to deal with the daily daunting task of persuading their fussy eater to eat ‘normal’ food. All this just adds to the stress level of parents and their child.
Before we go further, let’s understand the influence of fussy eating and growth in India, its typical behaviour, consequences, and possible solution for fussy eating kids.
What is fussing eating behaviour? Is it just a phase?
Fussy eating is not just restricted to eating less. Fussy or picky eating is usually termed for children who are unwilling to try new foods items. They also have a strong preference for certain food items, possibly avoiding some food groups.
Such fussy eating behaviours are most common during infancy or toddlerhood. But their prevalence usually peaks at about 3 years of age when the child can strongly express his unwillingness. Research suggests that fussy eating behaviour may be short-termed for some children and they may grow out. But what about the rest? For many others, it may remain an ongoing problem. Hence, it is imperative we look at our child and understand their eating habits over time.
What can be the possible consequences of fussy eating?
Apart from the daily stressful conflict between a parent and child, a prolonged fussy eating behaviour may lead to some possible serious consequences like
- Higher risk of being underweight and/or poor growth rate
- A weak immune system, which may further increase the chances of sickness or catching an infection
- Some nutrient deficiencies which may cause improper growth over time
- Possibility of impaired cognitive or emotional development of a child leading to delayed growth
- Lack of balanced and important nutrients may lead to long term health issues, including chances of being overweight
As a parent, how can you help your fussy eaters?
A report by UNICEF had mentioned that 1 in 3 kids do not get the right amount and kind of nutrition they need. As a parent, the #FirstStepToGrowRight would be getting their weight and growth tracked on a regular basis. It is important for parents to begin tracking their kid’s growth at an early stage to understand if there are any red flags related to their growth that may need detailed investigation by a paediatrician.
If there isn’t much of an issue and the height, weight and growth rate is within the expected range as prescribed by the doctor, then you may relax and stop the constant worrying if your child is a fussy eater. I also began using a Growth Tracker by PediaSure to track my son’s growth. You can also keep on tracking his/her growth on this tracker available online. It has helped me identify nutritional gaps so I can take the necessary measures at the earliest.
Simple steps to follow as a parent of a fussy eater
Another thing would be going with your parent’s intuition if you feel something isn’t right. Like if they look pale or lack energy. I would like to suggest the below solutions which have helped me a lot. With the combined effort of the tracker’s results and my intuition as a parent, I have been able to come up with these:
- Never force-feed. Kids like independence and freedom to choose what and how much they eat basis how hungry they feel. Trust their hunger and instead give them a healthy balanced nutrient-rich plate to choose from.
- Make mealtimes fun. Keep distractions like TV and phone away. Instead make mealtime a family time and bond with your child. Higher are the chances they follow you and eat what has been served on the plate.
- Include a trusted health supplement. With fussy eating, it’s quite possible that even the home-cooked balanced meal may not take care of their nutritional requirements. This gap can be easily compensated with a glass of PediaSure daily. It has 37 nutrients and ensures your child gets complete and balanced nutrition to help boost their immunity in this growing age.
So, what are some of the ways that you deal with a fussy eater at home?
COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
© GUNJAN GUPTA UPADHYAY. UNAUTHORIZED USE OR DUPLICATION OF THIS MATERIAL WITHOUT EXPRESS AND WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. ANsY EXCERPTS OR LINKS TO BE USED, PROVIDED FULL AND CLEAR CREDIT IS PROVIDED WITH PROPER LINKS TO GUNJAN GUPTA UPADHYAY OR TUGGUNMOMMY.COM. THIS IS TO BE DONE WITH THE RIGHT AND SPECIFIC DIRECTION TO THE ORIGINAL CONTENT.
THE CONTENT IS NOT AT ALL INTENDED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR ANOTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.
****THIS IS A SPONSORED BLOG POST AND A PART OF A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN BY PEDIASURE INDIA. THE POST IS MEANT TO SHARE EXPERIENCE THE long term consequences of fussy eating and growth in India. also how as a parent, we can deal with it.
The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author’s end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.