Preschoolers are active, bubbly, cute, spirited and adorable children (below 5 years). There are a lot of growth activities taking place inside their cells. They need a lot of nutrition to support such activities. Nevertheless, most of these preschoolers are pretty opinionated about eating. Some of them may even have grown a food faddism. At times, they may not eat anything at all. But one needs to add nutrition to their palate. How can a person do that? Let us see if this works.
- Eating with Family
These kids are very eager to eat what others are eating. They are always curious to taste such food. This is also an opportunity to offer the right balance of nutrition to the child. Since family meals usually feature an assortment of meals in moderate quantities, the child can get a bit of everything from different family members. This can fulfill its need for nutrition to some extent. Offer some portions of lean meat, eggs, poultry, whole grains, legumes etc. along with at least two servings of dairy products on a regular basis. Children may start loving it over time.
- Don’t Allow Distractions During Meal Time
Distractions like TV, smartphone etc. during meal time may distract a person from the family gathering. If all the members of the family sit together, have a meal, converse over the meal and there is no distraction, it may encourage the child to taste different food items and have good nutrition. It also fosters conversational skill. It has a demonstrative effect on children. It learns that mealtime is reserved solely for savoring nutritious food and nurturing relations through cordial conversations. At the same time people need not be strict about eating manners or neatness since that may put off the child.
- Offer a Variety of Food
A palate made of different food items may tickle the taste buds of the child better and grow a liking for food. Parents can offer sandwiches, crackers made of whole grain, vegetables, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs etc. Among dairy products one can offer milk or milk with cereals, yogurt etc. Fruit smoothies or low-fat popcorn is also a great idea.
- Control Picky Eating
Most preschoolers are picky eaters. They may favor only a few types of food like crackers or chocolates. This may mar the attempts to introduce variety in the palate. It is difficult to stop children from eating their favorite food, but one can definitely control their demand for their favorite food. This is essential since the same type of food cannot help with wholesome nutrition. Even parents are tempted to prepare only those items that the child prefers, resisting temptation. One needs to continue to offer a variety of food items. Initially, the child may resist, but eventually it may become bored of regular food and may start picking at other items.
It is difficult to introduce new food to preschoolers, but with some effort and consistency, the child may at least start picking at different food items. This can help with required nutrition.