Physical health is important and children’s health is not an exception to this. Among many different factors that affect the physical health of individuals, food and nutrition play an important role.
The importance of food in children’s health is more than we consider. On the other hand, fulfilling children’s nutritional requirements is painstaking for parents and caretakers. The reason is obvious, children are picky eaters just like many of us.
Food not only plays a role in the determination of the physical and mental health of children but it is crucial for the development and growth in children, said a renowned paediatrician from Quaid-e-Azam Hospital. Malnutrition is a common problem when it comes to children’s health and there are many factors responsible for this. There are many misconceptions about children’s nutrition that affect the perception of the masses.
Myths and Facts about Children Wellness and Nutrition
Let’s know what these myths are and the facts behind these claims. Here are the popular myths about children’s health and wellness.
1- DHA taken in pregnancy is sufficient for children
DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is considered to be an important nutrient that is considered to play a role in children’s development and growth. This essential nutrient is a part of pregnancy supplements however, many people believe that DHA taken during pregnancy is sufficient for children’s growth and development later in life. That’s not true. Even after birth children need DHA to support their growth and development process.
2- Toddlers should rely on bland food
Bland foods such as soups and cereals are considered to be food for toddlers to fulfil their nutritional requirements. Considering the importance of bland foods many people consider that toddlers should only rely on bland foods however, that’s not true. No hard and fast rule says that toddlers should only rely on bland food for their nutritional requirements. You can start giving them mildly flavoured foods that are nutrient-rich as well.
3- Don’t give toddlers the foods once they reject it
Just like adults, children tend to be picky eaters and they reject many food items. But if a child rejects one particular food it doesn’t mean that you will not give them the same thing again. What you can do is to alter its form and preparation method to see how it can be made presentable while keeping its nutrients intact. Keep altering until your child develops a taste for it.
4- If your child isn’t eating give them juices
The next in the list of misconceptions says that you can give your child fruits if they aren’t eating. But the fact is that you can’t replace food with juices. The reason behind this is that juices don’t contain all components of food. Further, while preparing juice many important components are removed that compromises food nutrition. So, rather than giving juices, it’s better to give fruit chunks as a snack.
5- Your child needs milk for stronger bones
When it comes to the strength of bones, milk, a rich calcium source is considered to fulfil this requirement for children. But the problem is that not all children like to have milk or others can’t tolerate it (lactose intolerance). So, you don’t need to fret here; you can fulfil their calcium requirements by other calcium sources than milk.
6- Probiotics are bad for children because they contain bacteria
It is often considered that the consumption of probiotics is bad for children because these contain bacteria. However, that’s not true, not all bacteria are bad for you. The human body houses millions of bacteria that are present in the gut and important for the overall wellbeing, said a renowned paediatrician from IHS Islamabad. Probiotics are considered to aid these natural microbes in our body to support our health and impart immunity keeping infections at bay so, not all bacteria are bad for us.
Children’s health is important and food plays an important role in this. Following the dietary requirements and including all the nutrients t in the diet can surely help your children live a healthy life. Your child can be a picky eater but you can try many things to deal with them. However, if nothing seems to work then it is recommended to go to a paediatrician for timely help.