Do you REALLY know what your child is eating?
Are you worried about how much or what food your child eats? We know how important proper nutrition is for developing little brains and I have something that can help! A food diary. You might be asking how that is helpful? You know exactly what your child is eating!
The Little Bites food diary will help you to monitor your child’s food and drink intake over a week. Some parents can be surprised to find that their child is actually eating quite well when they look at the week as a whole – maybe your child grazes throughout the day rather than eating big meals, but is still eating a variety of foods. Other children might have days when they eat virtually nothing and and others when they don’t stop eating. Other parents might find that although their child is being offered a variety, there’s a lot being uneaten or that there are important food groups being missed. Are they getting enough protein, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and good fats?
Food diaries are fantastic at evaluating a child’s preferences, routines and nutritional intake in different situations. Some children eat well at home, others eat better at school or daycare, a food diary is so great at letting you see the textural, colour and taste patterns and is vital when I evaluate and set individual eating programmes. Another thing that is great with food diaries is that you can see their routine: maybe they’re hungry earlier than dinner is ready and filling up on snacks or toast. Maybe afternoon tea is too late or their whole routine is demolished the moment they sleep in.
Food diaries are also brilliant at tracking your child’s progress. It’s so easy to forget where they’ve come from and in children with severe anxiety around food it can be very small steps. A food diary every so often can help you see how far they’ve come and motivate you.
It’s also a good idea to look at how much your child is drinking. Are they filling up on juice or milk, leaving them too full for food. Although milk is good for them, don’t let your child have it just before meal time, and the average child only need about 500 – 600 mls a day after age 1.
If you want to help your challenging eater enjoy food and make meal times stress-free and fun, please do book a free telephone consultation here.