Picky eater is an eating disorder that usually occurs in children when they are 3-6 years old. Quoted from The Indonesian Journal of Nutrition, that a child can be said to be a picky eater if he experiences the following criteria, namely:
- Picky food or just want the food he really likes
- Eating very small amounts of food (hard to eat)
- Eating for too long
- Refusing to try new types of food
- Not interested in seeing food
Meanwhile, the types of food that picky eaters usually avoid are various types of vegetables, fruits, and fish. Picky eating is a common problem in children that can have a negative impact on their growth and development process. This is due to the lack of intake of various kinds of nutrients that are needed by the body.
So, how to overcome the symptoms of picky eaters in children?
Quoting from the Indonesian Clinical Nutrition Journal, here are 5 ways to treat picky eater symptoms in children.
1. Feeding children directly or children eating themselves
Not infrequently children want to try to eat on their own, therefore it is better for parents to respond quickly and not force them to keep feeding their children, so that the child’s mood to eat remains stable and finishes his food quickly.
2. Feed the child slowly and patiently
Sometimes children show boredom when being fed. Parents should be required to be more patient in dealing with this and encourage children to eat without forcing it.
3. Respond to child’s refusal to eat
When children refuse to eat, parents are obliged to give understanding to children about why they should eat and finish their food, especially when the child is just trying new types of food. The child may show a dislike for the smell or taste of the food, and parents can give the food again at a later time.
4. Feeding children in a safe and comfortable atmosphere
Maintaining a safe and comfortable eating environment will help your child not to be afraid. Also, don’t scold your child when he doesn’t finish his meal, parents can try again at another time.
5. Provide a varied menu
Picky eaters in children can arise when the type of menu provided does not vary. Get in the habit of giving various types of menus for children every day so that children don’t focus on just one menu.
Those are 5 ways to deal with picky eater symptoms in children. Parents can make early detection of the presence or absence of eating disorders in children, so that the risk of impaired child development due to nutritional deficiencies can be avoided.