Your Child May Avoid Eating Vegetables. Here’s Why.Friday, 11 May 2018
For some parents, introducing vegetables to the child can be a challenge. Children generally have a tendency to choose delicious food and avoid vegetables. However, the provision of food to the child should fulfill the nutritional requirements, both macronutrients (nutrients required in a large quantity, such as carbohydrates and proteins) and micronutrients (nutrients required by the body in a small quantity, such as vitamins and minerals). One source of micronutrients is vegetables. Vegetables are rich in fibers and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases in the future. What may cause the child to avoid consuming vegetables? Below are several possibilities:
- Delayed or no introduction to vegetables during the period of complementary food provision According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no specific order in introducing the types of food, as long as the texture and consistency is in accordance to the ability of the baby. Therefore, vegetables can be introduced when first starting to provide complimentary food. The early introduction of vegetables may encourage the child to like vegetables as they grow.
- The child does not enjoy the flavor of the food Attempt to serve vegetables in a delicious and good-smelling food. For instance, prepare a mixed soup. Start with one type of vegetable, and then increase this to two types of vegetables in one dish. Do not forget to add variety and try different combinations of vegetables, to increase the interest of the child in consuming it.
- The appearance of the vegetable menu may not be attractive For the child, the appearance of the food may influence their interest to try it. If the vegetable menu appears unattractive and monotonous, they will be reluctant to consume it. You can select vegetables with various colors such as: carrots for orange, broccoli and spinach for green, pumpkin for yellow, and so on. By selecting vegetables with a variety of colors, the child will be interested to try it.
- Attempt to provide vegetables in all food menu If you rarely cook vegetables, try to change that habit. Start to serve vegetables in all food menus. The more often you serve vegetables in the family food menu, the easier it is for the child to accustom themselves to it and eventually try the vegetables.
- The presence of food processing issues in the mouth If the child experiences a disturbance in gross motor coordination around the mouth, they will experience a difficulty in chewing and swallowing the vegetables properly. Motor movements include coordination between biting, chewing, and swallowing that is conducted by the muscles in the upper and lower jaw, lips, tongue, and other muscles around the mouth. If there is a problem in this eating process, consult a pediatrician.
- Celery Usually celery is used as a flavor enhancer for food. However, they can also be an ingredient in porridge or steamed rice. Celery contains calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients.
- Spinach This green vegetable is highly beneficial for the brain development of the child, because it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid, phosphorus manganese, calcium, and iron.
- Chayote Chayotes are rich in phosphorus and calcium, which are beneficial in teeth and bone growth.
- Carrot Carrots are highly beneficial for eye health, as it contains a relatively high amount of vitamin A.
- Broccoli Although the shape is rather hard, broccoli can be softened to make it easily consumed by the baby. Broccoli contains calcium and folic acid.
- Tomato Tomatoes contain a relatively high amount of vitamin C, making it good to maintain the immunity of the child as well as facilitating the absorption of iron.