Child-rearing is no easy feat. In fact, it's often referred to as the hardest job you will ever love. Raising children can be a challenging undertaking, especially when it comes to ensuring that they get all of the nutrition that they need. Kids can be picky, which can make it harder to get optimal nutrition into their diet. Here's a look at some of the things that you should discuss with your pediatrician if you have concerns.
Is Your Child Averse To Many Foods?
If you have a child who seems to be averse to many different foods, particularly vegetables, there may be a sensory issue that needs to be addressed. Many times, sensory processing issues and other neurodiversity can lead to aversions to food. Not only can your pediatrician help you seek a proper diagnosis, but they can provide you with recommendations for ways to get the necessary nutrients, including different ways to present certain foods.
Does Your Child Have Any Dietary Allergies?
Sometimes, food-related allergies or intolerances can make meeting nutritional requirements difficult. If you have a child that is allergic to many fruits, vegetables, or grains, you'll want to talk with your pediatrician about alternative additions to their diet to fill the nutritional gaps that those foods might leave. Your pediatrician will be able to help you find alternative food sources that can help ensure a balanced diet.
Does Your Child Need Additional Supplements?
Even the best efforts aren't always enough to ensure adequate nutrition for children. Picky eaters, allergy issues, and sensory-based food aversions can make it hard to incorporate many of the essential nutrients. You can puree some things and incorporate them in different ways, but that doesn't work with everything. You may need to ask your pediatrician about a daily supplement to ensure your child's vitamin intake. Things like pediatric nutritional shakes or even the breakfast shakes you can buy at the grocery store may help to boost your child's nutritional balance. Just remember that these shakes also contribute calories, so bear that in mind to avoid causing excess weight gain.
These are some of the most important things to discuss with your pediatrician about your child's diet. In many cases, if your child is within the developmental range for their age, a few dietary modifications or an added supplement can be all that you need to meet those complex nutritional requirements for optimal child health and growth.
Contact a local pediatrician to learn more.