The first and the greatest wish of each parent is the child’s health. A conscious parent usually realizes how important a healthy diet plays in his or her maintenance, and the latest research among children indicates that it is quite a challenge to keep it casual. Inconspicuous neglect in nutrition is often the beginning of health problems, and at every stage of child development we face new challenges.
Gift from Mother
A future mother can take care of her child’s health even before he starts to beat his heart. The correct body weight before pregnancy and a high degree of nutrition of the body are mutual benefits for the mother and the child – better condition and reduced risk of certain diseases including gestational diabetes. In a child, both the deficiency of certain nutrients and excess calories can have long-term effects, among others in the form of increased risk of neurodevelopmental and metabolic diseases. A balanced diet is the first gift that a mother can consciously donate to her child. The next step will be giving your child natural food. If breastfeeding raises concerns or presents difficulties, we advise you to look for a lactation advisor in your area. Sometimes it is enough to ask for such a person in your maternity hospital – they are already there!
A small imitator
The moment when a child goes from milk to a constant diet can be stressful for both the child and his parents. On the other hand, new foods are an extraordinary adventure for the child. Do not give up hastily with a variety of flavors and products for uniform sweet-flavored pastas. Remember that the child will most likely try what is eaten by his parents. Perhaps this is the perfect time to revise the whole family’s eating habits. Give your child a choice, and perhaps surprise you with the adoration of pickled cucumbers, or presenting a fun sprat to the laying of sweet jellies. In the case of infants, it is worth getting acquainted with the practice of BLW, Baby-Led Weaning. Older children can be shown how great fun can be self-dressing sprouts or preparing homemade sweets.
Help in health and illness
Special care is required for children with atypical nutritional requirements. Intolerance and allergies are a plague among modern children, but fortunately many of them pass with age. With the help of an experienced doctor and dietitian, you can eliminate the necessary products from your child’s diet without impoverishing the nutritional value of your meals. An elmination diet is not only the exclusion of products that cause discomfort, but above all, the search for alternative products and close observation of the child. A well-conducted diet will alleviate ailments, while at the same time shaping healthy eating habits in a child, while too restrictive or monotonous diet can be a source of eating disorders in later life.
In search of your own path
The turbulent period of adolescence often translates into problems with nutrition of adolescents. The influence of peers, dietary fashions, manifesting their views and emotions are reflected in what and how a teenager eats. Regular meals, an atmosphere of attention and acceptance of the child’s food choices are invaluable during this period. A careful parent can help responsibly approach a vegetarian diet or slimming diet, or in time will notice a tendency to serious eating disorders, such as anorexia.
At every stage of the nutritional search it is worth to accompany the child in learning about his needs and serve as a positive example, and if in doubt, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a specialist.