Ensuring Proper Nutrition in Picky Eaters
Mealtimes with young, finicky eaters can be difficult, especially when they refuse to eat the foods in front of them. Veronica from watchmojo.com speaks with Shani Lugasi, nutritionist at The Montreal Children's Hospital, who offers some tips on effective ways to get kids to eat well and avoid mealtime melt-downs.
Veronica: Should a parent be concerned with a child who is a picky eater, and if so, why?
Shani Lugasi: It depends on the child. If a child really restricts just one or two food groups but is able to eat a lot from the other ones and is able to maintain a good weight and follow his growth curve, the parents could relax and not worry too much, and just help them and encourage them to eat different types of food and continue playing with textures and new foods to help develop their tastes. For some parents it might be a bit more complicated, if their children also don’t have good intake. If they restrict intake and just have small portions, and they don’t have good weight gain and don’t follow their growth curve, then it is something more to follow up with their paediatrician or a nutritionist to make sure they obtain their requirements for the day.
Veronica: What are some common mistakes that parents make when they try to get their kids to eat healthy food?
Shani Lugasi: I think it’s forcing their child to finish their meal. Don’t keep your child at the table for a whole hour or longer than the rest of the family. What you could do is keep the rest of the meal and give it to them as a snack later on, if they feel hungrier. The other thing is not to bribe the child with food “if you finish your vegetables, you will get your dessert,” because it just creates a negative environment. Just let them eat what they want and try to give them alternatives, if they are refusing certain foods, and keep a relaxed atmosphere.If you would like to view the full interview with Shani Lugasi, click here.