COMMON FEEDING PROBLEMS
Children’s likes and dislikes need to be considered while feeding. Achild, who does not eat well, may be underweight due to malnutrition. Malnutrition is not only due to poverty but ignorance and/or fixed ideas on the part of young parents may lead to malnutrition (even in affluent families).
Children may not relish vegetables particularly, green leafy ones and fruits. You should make an effort to motivate the child to eat by serving in different, attractive forms. Consumption of less quantity of food can lead to constipation. Early morning hurry to go to school and lack of sleep and activity can also lead to constipation.
Consumption of sticky sweets can result in dental caries. Brushing the teeth before going to bed and after a meal should become a habit in children. Children should be encouraged to eat hard raw crisp foods.
A diet that contains a variety of foods from each of the food groups (breads and grains, meats, fruits and vegetables, and diary) will prevent nutrient deficiencies. Both the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association recommend that healthychildren should get all their nutrients from foods rather than supplements.
The nutrients that are most likely to be deficient in a child’s diet are calcium, iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folic acid and Vitamin B6.
Children who consume little or no dairy products are at particular risk for calcium deficiency which can interfere with bone growth and development. Some good sources of calcium are low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Other foods such as broccoli, cooked greens, and canned salmon (with bones) will also provide calcium.
Iron requirements vary by age, growth rate, iron stores, increasing blood volume, and rate of absorption from food sources. Adolescent girls will have increased iron needs due to menstrual losses. Food sources of iron include meat, fish, and poultry, iron-fortified cereals, spinach greens, dried beans and peas.