If you’re tired of finding new ways to convince your fussy toddler to eat a more nutritious diet, you are not alone. Every parent faces the daily challenge of filling their kid’s small stomachs with food that is fresh and nutritious. Constant snacking and filling upon empty calories can get out of hand quickly.
Yet, as children explore different tastes, it is natural for them to become picky about what they eat. This often leaves them with deficiencies that often go unnoticed. Yet, children with deficiencies may act irritable, have poor appetite, headaches or dizziness, show muscle and bone weakness, get frequent stomach infections and show many other signs if they aren’t getting proper nutrition.*
But every parent wants the best for their child. This results in the constant hunt for ways to provide the right nutrition in a way that children will love too. This is crucial in those early years when a child’s immunity is developing alongside their physical, mental and emotional abilities.
Why is nutrition in the early years important?
What your child eats in early childhood, including the preschool ages of 2–5 years can have a big impact on their future health. This is the phase of their lives where adequate and wholesome nutrition is crucial to building essential things like the brain, bones, teeth, and even their mind. This is when micronutrients like Iron, Iodine, Vitamin A and others are needed most. Consuming a diverse range of nutrient-dense is one of the key ways to help children in their early years meet their quota of essential micronutrients.
Building good eating habits and deploying early intervention strategies gives your child all the tools they need to prevent common deficiencies like Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Vitamin D. At this age it’s about setting a pattern that will help them stay fit and healthy even in the long run. Millions of children struggle with cognitive delays, weakened immunity and stunted growth mainly as a result of micronutrient deficiencies.**
What are the essentials every child should get?
A preschooler’s body needs nutrient-dense foods that contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Kids who get these five essentials during childhood show better cognitive health and reduced risk of onset of chronic diseases in later life.
Stop a moment and think about whether you can say with surety if your child is getting enough of these five essentials?
● Grains like rice, wheat, ragi, bread.
● Fresh fruits.
● Vegetables, including the green leafy variety.
● Protein-rich foods like eggs, seafood, poultry, beans and meat.
● Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
Like many other parents who are often left wondering, packing all this into a busy day can be an uphill task. Double the difficulty level if your child won’t sit still, prefers playing to eating or just won’t touch a bite of their greens.
What to do when your child refuses to eat healthy foods?
When kids refuse to eat enough of nutrient-rich foods, you still need a surefire solution that gives them all their nutrients daily.
Some easy ways to do this are to:
- Offer them healthy options, so whatever they choose, it will be good for them.
- Set them up for success by being a good role model and eating a healthy diet yourself. Children learn a lot by observing.
- Rename healthy foods with fun names like magical power pea soup, mushy smushy aloo or tutti fruity milkshake. Kids love a great story and a fun name.
- Let them get in on the action by learning to cook a few easy, healthy dishes. Kids love playing chef!
- Instead of junk food, keep more healthy snacks stocked up so kids reach for them instead.
- Consider adding a nutrient rich cereal to the most important meal of the day - breakfast. This can significantly improve the daily nutritional content of young children’s diets and bridge any micronutrient gap successfully.
Tipping the balance towards health is now possible just by adding the wholesome Nestlé’s Ceregrow to a child’s existing diet. Preservative-free and without any added flavouring it makes a delicious breakfast option for children from 2 to 5 years. Every bowl of Ceregrow Is rich in iron, Vitamins A, C & D, Calcium and Protein. With goodness of grains, milk and fruit, now you can give your child the best chance at complete all-round nutrition anywhere, anytime.
Click here to read more about Nestlé Ceregrow; a yummy and nutritious breakfast cereal for your precious toddler.
*RDA 4-6 yr children as per ICMR 2010
This is a partnered post.