The dangers of picky eating

Junior’s choosy eating habits might be affecting more than your grocery list…

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The picky-eating phase, something that seems to be a rite of passage for most toddlers, is every parent’s nightmare. Although a phase that junior should eventually outgrow, the picky-eating days can have lasting effects, especially on your child’s growth and development.  

          At this stage, your little one will not be open to consuming a variety of food. However, continually feeding them the same dish at every meal can also contribute to a delay in their growth and development.

          “Foods within each of the different food groups confer different nutritional benefits. Thus if a toddler were to only eat the same foods every day, they may be lacking in certain essential nutrients — which would then impair growth and development,” says Charlotte Lin, a senior dietitian at National University Hospital.

          More than simply lacking nutrients from a variety of foods, and risking falling short of their daily calorie requirements, your child might lack specific micronutrients.  

          “If there is inadequate calorie intake over a period of time, the child’s weight gain and subsequent height growth may be affected. The child’s neurocognitive development or learning may also be affected if his/her diet is significantly deficient in micronutrients such as iron or essential fatty acids,” says Dr Michelle Tan, an associate consultant at National University Hospital.  

          To ensure that your little one is growing and developing without any disruptions, you will need to keep track of their growth (height and weight). This record will also enable you to ensure that they receive the nutrients they require.

Keep reading to find out how you can help your picky eater...

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