Mac n’Cheese, chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. That’s all that Julia, age 4, will eat. You might say she’s the quintessential picky eater. Her mom is worn out from trying to get her to eat healthier foods. At the same time, she’s concerned. Is Julia getting enough nutrients? Should she be taking a multivitamin?
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. At any given age between 13 percent and 22 percent of children are picky eaters. Do you have a picky eater? Here are some tell-tale signs. Picky eaters:
- Don’t like trying new foods.
- Have strong preferences for few food types.
- Often don’t eat enough variety of foods or worse, enough of all the essential food groups.
Experts agree that in most cases, this is normal and children eventually outgrow it. What’s worrisome, however, is if the picky eating is severe or continues well into childhood.
I Have a Picky Eater – Should I Worry?
What causes picky eating? What are the consequences for a child’s health? And what can parents do to help?
Any number of factors can cause children to be picky eaters. They range from a child’s personality traits to gastrointestinal issues to their parents’ eating habits. Moreover, according to one study, not only is picky eating a normal passage of growing up, it’s often hereditary. In many cases, it’s just a kid being a kid!
However, the long-term consequences of not getting enough nutrients can be harmful. According to another study that compared the height, weight, BMI and other factors between pre-school picky- and non-picky eaters, children who were picky eaters had lower weight, height and BMI scores than non-picky eaters. Also, picky eaters had higher rates of inactivity (they were tired), constipation and medical illnesses.
5 Tips to Help Your Picky Eater (and You!)
Here are a few tips to help make mealtime a bit more palatable.
- Respect your child’s appetite. Don’t force him or her to eat if they’re not hungry. The last thing you want is to get into a power struggle.
- Support your child in making healthy food decisions. Rather than trying to force your child to take three bites of a food they may not like, for example, have them take one taste of every food on their plate. This strategy helps children to develop a taste for a variety of different foods and make their own food choices.
- Involve your children in food. When they’re old enough, have them help you food-shop. If you grow veggies and herbs, get them involved in planting and harvesting the crops.
- Make mealtime about the family. Create a pleasant atmosphere that children look forward to, not dread.
- Catch your child making wise food choices. For example, praise him or her for picking up an apple to eat.
Does your child need a multivitamin? In the end, you’re the parent and know what’s best for your children. Solgar U-Cubes have a natural multivitamin formula specially made for children, whether they’re picky eaters or not! These tasty gummies come in a luscious grape flavor that even the most discerning children will like.
Formulated for toddlers ages 2 to adults, U-Cubes provide 30 percent daily values (DV) of Vitamin A, 25 percent DV of Folic Acid, 50 percent DV of Pantothenic Acid, 40 percent DV of Vitamin B-12 and 2 percent DV of zinc for children ages 2 and 3 and children ages 4 – adults. The daily values of Vitamins C, D3, E, B-6, Calcium, Iodine and Magnesium differ for the two age groups. Moreover, the DV of Vitamin D3 for toddlers is 300 IU or 75 percent and for children ages 4 and up, 600 IU or 150 percent. In fact, 600 IU is the pediatrician-recommended dosages of Vitamin D3. Learn more about U-Cubes nutritional values.
With a full complement of vitamins and minerals and no artificial colors or flavors, U-Cubes are a great choice to give your kids the nutritional support they need to be strong, healthy and happy.
Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, artificial flavor and preservatives.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.