Have we become a nation of fussy eaters?
Current research suggests that 26% of British toddlers have a daily tantrum at mealtimes. Some nutritionists blame parents for bribing their children with sweet treats, arguing that this encourages their toddlers to be pickier as this can encourage positive associations with sweets and thinking of mealtime as an unpleasant chore. The same research revealed that 12% of British mums felt like a “bad mother” for having to resort to bribing their children.
The type of food that toddlers are first weaned on to could play a key role in this problem. Worryingly, 70% of British mothers report having received no guidance as to what to feed their young kids.
British parents are generally encouraged to feed their children baby rice, rice cakes, bread sticks and other bland cereal grains during weaning. However The French Academy of Paediatricians recommends starting toddlers on green leafy vegetables and vegetable soups encourages a much broader and healthier range of food choices throughout childhood. This difference perhaps explains some of the habits and tastes that we see continuing throughout childhood.
British weaning choices may also effect the digestive system. There has been a noticeable increase in gut inflammation and dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria) from an early age, which has been shown to worsen by a diet high in grains and sugars.
As we consume more convenience foods, will this become more difficult to digest and absorb without irritating the bowel? By bribing our children with sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks to reward them for eating their dinner, the increasing effects of dysbiosis may actually influence the child’s food choices, directing them towards sugar-laden foods to feed the unbalanced bacteria.
Whatever the actual reason, it is clear that the way we wean and feed our toddlers needs to be addressed. If you are confused by this subject and would like to know more, contact Marko directly on 07767 664186 or visit http://www.www.magnavitae.org/Nutrition.
We run regular nutritional workshops and 1-2-1 nutritional consultations at Meridian Leisure Centre, Station Sports Centre, Horncastle Swimming Pool & Fitness Suite and Embassy Swimming Pool & Fitness Suite.