News article

Food education spurs healthy eating in children

Posted:  Friday, December 11, 2015

Children who are picky about food tie their parents in knots. In fact, most parents are at their wit’s end with these finicky eaters. So, is there a way to curtail this fussiness in a peaceful manner? A few experts from Japan seem to have the answer. They suggest that allowing children to learn about food ingredients and cooking can help reduce picky eating

Most children tend to dislike vegetables such as bell peppers, goya, bitter gourd and tomatoes. This dislike may be instinctive since these vegetables are characterised by bitterness or acidity. Children may also detest foods that cause stomach ache after eating them.

According to the experts, in order to curb strong food preferences in children, they should be allowed to experience various foods and ways of eating them. Recent research also confirms that the more variety of foods children taste from an early age, the more types of foods they can eat.

The experts also recommend taking the following steps to reduce feelings of dislike and picky eating in kids:

Allow children to see and touch the ingredients that they dislike before cooking

Encourage children to participate in cooking the unpalatable foods

Permit children to put food on their own plate

Praise children for eating everything, irrespective of quantity

Never force children to eat foods they dislike

Wait until children agree to try foods for themselves

Avoid camouflaging foods with different ingredients, and later disclosing this to the children

Create an enjoyable atmosphere at mealtimes

“Try not to become stressed but to enjoy mealtimes. When those around them are eating with obvious pleasure, children sometimes get drawn in and start eating foods that they previously disliked”, say the experts.

However, if these steps fail to improve your child’s eating habits, it is time to consult a doctor for advice.

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