Many parents have admitted to using a variety of tactics to convince young kids to eat healthy food. One in three used the television as a distraction while more than half of the respondents from the survey have tried making food more appealing. The same study has shown that one in three parents often feel nervous and confused during the eating process. Research has shown that when a child’s eating problem is short-term, the lack of nutrients is unlikely to do any harm. However, long-term refusal of fruits and vegetables that contain protein, calcium, fiber, vitamins and minerals can stunt development.
The lack of calcium typically found in leafy green vegetables and milk can lead to weak bones while a lack of vitamin A often found in carrots and vegetables can lead to eye health problems. Being picky eaters, on the other hand, has been found to be linked to greater levels of depression and anxiety later on in life.
Only 30 percent of one-year-olds based in the U.S. are eating vegetables, according to data analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. The information collected also concluded that junk food habits start in the toddler years, according to the Washington Post.
Since teaching kids to eat healthy food early on is associated with increased acceptance of these foods later on, the study encourages parents to persist. The study suggests the importance of introducing a variety of vegetable to kids during the early stages of reluctance.
Often times, young kids make faces and are reluctant to try new things, according to Daily Mail. Experts claim that this is largely due the babies’ heightened senses, which requires them to touch, taste and smell things first.