Who does not know him, because soup kasper from Struwwelpeter? Unfortunately, the story doesn't end well. "Finally on the fourth day, Kaspar was like a thread“Then the refuser dies. Many parents' nightmare.
Liv's mother (2) has also spent many sleepless nights. Her chubby one-year-old has become a slim little girl who usually explains “No, I don't want to” at the table. No fruit, no vegetables willingly end up in the child's mouth. Potatoes, rice - ah.
How do you get your child to consume at least a tiny amount of healthy vitamins and nutrients, even if they don't like vegetables? Do parents have to fear a shortage of supplies as with Kasper? After all, according to a DAK study, every second preschool child should refuse healthy food. Prospects are not good.
Be a good role model yourself, let the children take part in shopping, eat together and prepare the food appetizingly and in small bites - these recommendations are part of the standards of nutritional psychology. But what can be done if all that doesn't help and the child also refuses the cucumber, which is lovingly decorated with a funny face? And when does the complaint about food become threatening to the child's health?
A child's proportions change at different stages. One often suspects an impending growth spurt in the rather round chubby cheeks. At the end of the 2nd year of life and between the 4th and 7th year of life, children usually experience rapid growth in length. You suddenly appear thinner and leaner because the baby fat is now disappearing.
Due to the growth phases, there is not so clearly a normal weight in children, even if there are of course tables. Anyone who has the feeling that the child is too skinny should look closely at the child while washing or in the bathtub. Are the bones clearly protruding? Does the child seem listless or apathetic? Is it often tired? If you can answer 'yes' to any of these questions, you should definitely consult a pediatrician.
Many children who are perceived by their parents as problem eaters are quite healthy and of normal weight. They just constantly nag about the food and just refuse what mom and dad consider healthy and important. As long as the children appear active and happy, experts do not worry.
Children have a natural feeling of satiety and do not starve to death. Refusal is often a natural part of personality development, explains psychologist Markus Wilken from the Bonn University Hospital.
Children themselves know best what their body needs
The American pediatrician Clara Davis carried out a legendary study in the 1930s because she wanted to know whether children can regulate their own food. For several years, Davis followed a group of young children who were allowed to choose what to eat on their own. Many children ate one-sidedly for months, preferring pasta, for example, or eating almost only bread. Interestingly enough, none of the children were nutritionally deficient at the end of the study.
When this study was repeated in the 1990s, the results were the same. Psychologist Markus Wilken: "Children themselves know what their body needs if you give them a choice." His recommendation to concerned parents: keep offering the child fruit and vegetables, but giving them the choice and above all not forcing them to do anything.
Often times it's just a phase when children don't like certain foods. Sometimes they just need less energy or have already drunk their fill. In no case should the food become a power struggle. If composure is difficult for you, think about the American study.
Anyone who worries should keep an accurate nutrition log of the child for a week. One is often amazed at how much the little ones eat and drink (for example milk and juice, which also provide valuable nutrients). If in doubt, contact your pediatrician or a nutritional advice center - and trust your child.
Tips and tricks to motivate problem eaters
1. Watch out for regulated table times and a pleasant atmosphere while eating. Small children like to help uncover things and make everything beautiful.
2.Constant nibbling is taboo. Also pay attention to snacks with sensitive eaters, otherwise the children will eat their fill beforehand or after eating when they know that there are still biscuits available.
3.Salad and fruit offer when the child is really hungry.
4. The kids the menu let select with and include them in the purchase and preparation. A homemade pizza simply tastes better.
5. For some children, the term 'fruit' is enough and they are stubborn. Young children can be offered a delicious pancake sauce - they are much more likely to be eaten than applesauce. Fancy names like princess porridge seduce to try.
6.fruit go great in puree transform and this disappears in cottage cheese or rice pudding. It turns into delicious ice cream in the freezer. Shakes and jams are also more likely to be eaten by sensitive eaters.
7. Also Vegetables can be hidden inconspicuously. For example, mashed zucchini in minced meat sauce, patterned kohlrabi in mashed potatoes. Vegetables with a strong taste of their own, such as cauliflower, should not be used here.
8.Sweet enhances: Children often like sweet and sour raw vegetables made from grated apples and carrots (with lemon juice and honey) or salad with nuts and grapes.
9. Small portions and finger food increase appetite. A yoghurt dip turns cucumber, carrots or kohlrabi into healthy nibbles. And eating with fingers is always a popular activity.
www.was-wir-essen.de Information about food
www.witzigmann-buffet.de Jam and other recipes for those who refuse vitamins
Image: © istockphoto.com
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