My daughter hardly eats. I run after her, take her to the park, use pranks, force or even 'bribe' her to eat but she still doesn't. What should I do? I am totally frustrated and worried.
Questions like these seem to be a major concern for most parents with young children. Relax, you are not alone. Many children have eating difficulties at some point after the age of one or two. Although it is a real worry, in most cases, the child doesn't truly even have an eating "problem". It may be that a child who previously ate anything and everything you put in his or her mouth has now learnt to discriminate. He or she has finally developed a personality of his or her own that can assert for itself.
The important thing to remember is that children will eat when they are hungry; unless they have a medical problem. If a parent has become preoccupied by a child's eating, the child can learn to control or "blackmail" the parent through it by eating or not eating. Often the first sign of illness is a loss of appetite.
Vegetarianism is a way of life for a vast majority of people in India. It can be a very healthy way of eating, especially if it includes eggs (ovo-vegetarians) and milk products and if the said meals are planned thoughtfully. It is important to include a variety of foods rich in vitamins and minerals, along with proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids so that nutritional deficiencies do not occur.
The quality of animal protein is superior to that of plant protein as animal protein supplies the body with all the essential amino acids whereas plant protein is deficient in some of these. However, when meals include food from a variety of dietary sources, the diet becomes balanced because the missing amino acids or nutrients from one source get complemented by those from other sources.
A toddler's diet is extremely important. It is vital to his rapid physical growth; general health and well-being; his ability to learn and play; and also his future health. Therefore, extra efforts should be made to ensure that he gets the right types of food.
Fruit juices are considered as popular drinks amongst pre-schoolers and many mothers are keen to offer juices anytime to their children. The biggest virtue of fruit juices is that most children accept them with eagerness and love to drink them. They help in providing instant energy. However, excessive intake of fruit juices may lead to obesity and dental caries due to their high sugar content. Some of the packed or tinned fruit juices are not nutritious as they are sugar based syrups with merely 10% fruit juice or essence of fruits. Seasonal fruit and vegetable juices with their nutritional virtues are listed below:
This is packed with natural polyphenols and thus possesses antioxidant properties. Pomegranate juice is also rich in phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Orange juice is a good source of Vitamin C, which acts as a natural antioxidant and thus helps in maintaining the integrity of one's immune system.