First of all, it is necessary to be clear: to eat well does not mean to eat much, but in a balanced way. It sounds simple, but that’s where the challenge lives. While some families complain that their son does not like anything, others say that he refuses various foods but devours exactly the same foods every day. Infant feeding is really full of issues. after all, how to organize a healthy menu that falls in the taste of children? Talking with experts, we’ve brought you the latest research and several practical tips to help your child eat better and better – and with pleasure!
Suddenly, that baby who just drank milk begins to reach for her plate, to grimace when she tries on new food and to leave her kitchen with a new decoration. Little girls dye clothes and armchair, while small pieces of fruit color the floor. Despite the mess that surrounds the moment of the meal with the babies, you often discover that you can feel immense happiness simply by seeing someone eating broccoli or smearing your face with a piece of mango. And, quicker than you think, that little bastard turns into a child capable of feeding on his own and, in the not-so-distant future, making his choices at the table.
To realize how food early in life is essential for health in the future, according to research from the University of Missouri (USA), up to 2 years the brain of a baby consumes, alone, between 50% and 75 % of all energy gained through nutrition. That is, if you do not receive the necessary nutrients, the child is at risk of not fully developing cognitive abilities, besides presenting physical impairment.
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Eating well, however, has no relation to silverware and more food. It was once the time when a chubby baby was synonymous with health. A study by University College London (UK) with 2,564 children aged 4 to 18 months showed that those who were overweight had a similar diet to those who had healthy measures. The difference was in the portion sizes . “The research gives clues that parents of children who are overweight do not necessarily give them extra bars of chocolates or other high-calorie foods. The problem is that they serve larger portions at meal times, “said study author Hayley Syrad.
So, forget phrases such as “Scratch your plate” or “Just pick up when you finish it all”. “Respecting the limits of the child is the best way to stimulate her to eat well,” says gastroenterologist Cylmara Gargalak of the Sírio-Libanês Hospital (SP). Child nutritionist Elaine de Padua, author of the book What’s Got on Her Son’s Plate (Ed. Alles Trade) goes further. “Forcing it to eat can either dilate the stomach or create a food neophobia, that is, a reluctance to try new foods. If the child is not developing problems, will consume enough, “he says. Do you know why? According to a study by Harvard University (USA), while breastfeeding, babies have the ability to self-regulate their appetite and eat no more calories than they need, a skill that remains even after the exclusive breastfeeding period. The recommendation of the UK Health System is for parents to start serving small amounts and let children ask for more if they are not satisfied . When in doubt, think of the following: studies indicate that the size of an adult’s stomach is comparable to that of a small melon and that of a 1-year-old baby, to a mandarin. So do not overdo the portion sizes.