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Although preschool children are delightful and cute, it’s perfectly normal for them to make quite a fuss about eating. Feeding a preschooler requires considerable patience, particularly if you want them to eat good nutritious food.
What’s to be Done?
To start with, parents can be a good example and eat healthy food themselves. Little ones grow up imitating adults, and this is true of eating habits as well. You cannot expect your child to eat good when you do not. Eat a variety of foods and introduce different ones regularly. Eating together as a family is also a good way to ensure that your child eats nutritious food. Try not to force them to eat; else they might start hating nutrition foods. Let there be more of fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the house, and do not stack unhealthy foods like candies, fruit flavored drinks, sugar coated cereals, or chips. However, it is important to not deprive the child of treats altogether.
What Do Preschoolers Need?
An active preschooler’s energy levels are higher and their activity requires good nutrition. Thus, adequate nutrition for preschool children is important. They need to consume enough calories, albeit the amount is not well defined. They can eat what the rest of the family eats, provided it features a variety of healthy foods, in moderation.
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A diet for preschool children should contain foods such as lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes, and whole grain like whole wheat bread and cereals for fiber. At least two servings of milk or milk products, nuts, and fresh vegetables and fruits are also necessary.
You may introduce low fat dairy products, like reduced fat cheddar instead of regular cheese, and low fat yogurt for ice cream, to name a few. You can try boiled or steamed foods in place of fried or oily foods. Try unsaturated vegetables for preparing food. Try to limit intake of saturated oils and also limit foods high in sugar and do not add extra sugar to food. Choose a diet with moderate sugar and salt.
Preschool children need a lot of calcium and iron for their normal development. Foods rich in calcium world include milk, white beans, broccoli cooked or raw, cheddar cheese, yogurt low fat, orange juice fortified or medium and sweet potatoes. Iron rich foods will include beef, chicken, fish, liver, peanut butter, nuts and seeds, lima beans, pinto beans, spinach, green turnip, collard, tomato juice, strawberries, whole grain bread, raisins and watermelon.
The benefits of good nutrition will make your kids feel great and will improve their concentration, development and individual character. They will make healthy food choices as they grow and help them face challenges.