Nutritional Habits in Children

Children acquire many habits that they will use throughout their lives. One of them is eating habits. During this period, “children’s eating habits; It is formed by the interaction of various factors such as the social and economic status of the family, education level, habits, customs and traditions, and environmental conditions. and the balanced diet habit gained during this period ensures that children receive the necessary energy and calories for their growth, and that they are resistant to diseases and healthy. The attitudes of parents towards children in general affect their eating attitudes as well as all their behaviors. Therefore, there may be many different reasons for a change in children’s behavior regarding food. If there is a problem with food, the cause should be investigated first.

In order for children to have a healthy diet, they need to consume a variety of foods from the four food groups in sufficient quantities and in a balanced way. Milk, yogurt in the dairy group, meat, chicken, eggs, cheese, legumes, vegetables and fruits in the meat group, and bread, bulgur, pasta, rice, etc. in the cereal group. It is recommended that foods be consumed in sufficient quantities at each meal.

It is important for children to consume 2-3 glasses of milk or yoghurt and 1 matchbox of feta cheese a day, especially for bone and tooth development. If 1 egg, 500 ml of milk or yoghurt, 1 meatball or 1 portion of legumes are consumed in the daily nutrition plan, protein intake is sufficient for the child.

Breakfast is the most important meal for children. After starving all night long, our body and brain need energy to start the day. Care should be taken to ensure that children acquire the habit of having breakfast regularly every morning. Cheese, boiled egg, fresh juice, a few slices of bread or 1 glass of milk, pastry, tangerines are examples of an adequate and balanced breakfast for children.

Keeping physical and mental performance at the highest level throughout the day is possible by regularly consuming snacks and main meals. Therefore, meals should not be skipped. It is most appropriate to take the foods to be consumed daily in 3 main meals and 2 snacks.

High sugar and sugary foods are not positive for children’s nutrition. There is a close relationship between sugar intake and loss of appetite and tooth decay. In order to reduce or minimize this risk, it is recommended not to consume sugary drinks, sweets, biscuits and chocolate, especially not to be given to children during snacks, and to consume fresh fruits instead of these foods.

Compared to adults and school-age children, sugar provides much more energy in the diet of pre-school children. When we look at the diets of children who consume a high amount of sugar, the main source of sugar is fruit candies, instant fruit juices and cola drinks. Instead of these drinks, freshly squeezed fruit juices, milk, ayran, etc. consumption of beverages should be preferred.

For a healthy life, it is very important to give children the habit of washing hands and brushing their teeth. Dirty hands can be the cause of many diseases, from a simple cold to fatal hospital infections. For this reason, it is necessary for children to get into the habit of washing their hands thoroughly with soap under warm running water, especially before and after eating, after going to the toilet, after playing outside, and when they come home from outside.

Do not try to feed the child by doing whatever he wants. Behaviors such as showing excessive interest in the child, endless tolerance, obeying his wishes, doing whatever he wants, giving the child are not good but evil. With unlimited tolerance, a measured and balanced personality cannot develop.

Do not try to feed the child by entertaining. It is not right to try to get the child to eat by singing, dancing, watching TV, chasing after him or diverting his attention to other directions with similar movements.

Do not rush or let him linger so that he finishes the meal quickly. It is not an appropriate attitude to rush a child while eating or to allow them to linger unnecessarily.

While the child is eating, do not put him in a race and do not compare with other children. Behaviors such as telling other children that they are weak and weak, that other children eat well, or trying to make them eat them out of jealousy are wrong.

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