Nutrition in Children

The child, who gradually gains independence from the first age, becomes an individual who begins to change in the family. In this period of countless development and change, the child’s nutritional habits are directly or indirectly affected by the nutritional habits of the family, especially the parents and siblings, if any.

The nutritional habits gained in childhood extend to later ages, so the parents imitated by the child should set the best example for him. In this direction, children should be given the habit of choosing the right food and not be dependent on a single food type.

Parents’ Attitudes on Child’s Nutritional Behavior

Children, especially in the 1-5 age group, adopt the eating habits of the individuals they take as role models in the family. While the parents love to consume whatever they eat, if they try to feed the child with foods that the parents do not consume just because it is healthy, they will refuse to consume that food.

In this period, attitudes such as insisting on food, rewarding or punishing negatively affect eating habits. For this reason, apart from children who tend to be obese or have excessive loss of appetite, the choice of food and how much of which food is consumed should be in line with the child’s wishes, and the child should not be forced to eat more than he wants to eat.

Food should be given in small portions, if the child thinks that he or she cannot eat a large amount of food or has a prejudice that he or she will not like that food, he will not want to eat it.

It should be ensured that the child consumes food from each food group. In nutrition, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin and mineral balance should be observed.

If he consumes 1 egg, 1 meatball (30 grams cooked) meat or 1 serving of legumes per day, it means that sufficient protein intake is provided for a child in the 1-5 age group. Milk should be limited to 2.5 glasses (500 ml) per day. Consuming 1 glass of milk and 4-5 spoons of yogurt a day meets the child’s need for dairy products.

There is no need to restrict fat in the diet, but animal fat sources such as butter and fatty meat consumption should definitely be limited in order to prevent health problems due to atherosclerosis. Oil seeds such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and healthy fat sources such as olive oil should be included in the diet.

Fluid consumption is important and children aged 1-3 should consume 125 ml of fluid per kilogram (if 10 kg, 10×125=1250 ml of liquid), while children aged 3-6 should consume 100 ml of liquid per kilogram (if 18 kg, 18×100=1800 ml). liquid) should be consumed.

Meal Preparation Phase

Another important issue is cooking methods. Meals prepared with cooking methods such as roasting and frying cannot provide sufficient nutrition due to the decrease in nutritional value and may cause more harm than good to the child. In addition, preparing very hot or spicy foods should be avoided and extremely hot/cold foods should not be given to the child.

Children want to feel seen as an individual in the 1-5 age group. For this reason, you should make him love the kitchen by being given tasks that he can do during the preparation of food, and you should be able to offer him days where cooking for himself will not be a pain in his future life.

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