Know the Right Time to Give Vitamin Supplements to Children with Difficulty Eating

Know the Right Time to Give Vitamin Supplements to Children with Difficulty Eating

Not a few parents who provide vitamin supplements for children who have difficulty eating as a solution if their children don't want to eat or are picky about food. Not only increasing appetite, this type of supplement is also good for meeting the nutritional needs of children.

The most common reason children have difficulty eating or picky eaters is because children do not like the taste or texture of the food they eat. This can happen because the child is used to being given sweet foods or contains lots of flavoring.

When you get used to eating foods that taste too sweet or salty, your child may perceive other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to be bland and unpleasant, and then reject them.

In addition, children who often refuse food can sometimes be caused by improper feeding techniques. Such as threats, encouragement, coercion, and punishment. This action actually risks making children traumatized by food.

If left unchecked, the condition of children having difficulty eating can have a negative impact on the process of growth and development, drastic weight loss, and even risk of malnutrition. To increase your little one's appetite, you can provide vitamin intake for hard-to-eat children.

4 Types of Vitamins for Children with Difficulty Eating

There are several types of vitamins for children with difficulty eating which are believed to increase appetite and complete nutrition, including:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an important nutrient that needs to be met to support the overall growth and development of children.

Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and eyes, supports the growth of strong bones, and strengthens the child's immune system. Children aged 1-9 years need about 400-500 RE of vitamin A per day.

Vitamin B Complex

Intake of vitamin B complex helps children have more energy and increase their appetite. Vitamin B complex also plays an important role in optimizing physical growth and brain development.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and is able to keep the child's immune system strong while helping the absorption of iron from food that enters the body. Iron serves to produce red blood cells, prevent children from developing anemia, and increase children's appetite.

In order to complete nutrition and support growth and development, children aged 1 year and over need vitamin C as much as 40-45 mg per day.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D serves to increase calcium absorption and maintain the immune system. Vitamin D is also useful for supporting the growth and development of children, especially the growth and development of bones and teeth.

Children aged 1 year and over need 15 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D per day. Vitamin D can be obtained naturally by basking in the morning sun and from food intake, such as fish, eggs, milk, and cheese.

In addition to these four vitamins, other nutrients that can also increase a child's appetite are zinc and omega 3 and 6 found in fish oil.

Don't be in a hurry to give vitamin supplements to children who have difficulty eating

Parents often panic and rush to give vitamin supplements to hard-to-eat children. In fact, these supplements are not always necessary if the child's health condition is good and growth and development takes place normally.

In addition, most children also do not need supplements because the necessary nutrients can still be obtained from various natural sources, such as the intake of nutritious food and drinks. Therefore, giving vitamin supplements to children with poor eating habits is usually only given if it is recommended by a doctor.

Doctors will usually provide additional vitamin supplements for children if the child has or suffers from special conditions, such as:
  • Genetic disorders or birth defects that make children vulnerable to malnutrition
  • Certain diseases, such as infections or cancer
  • Developmental disorders
  • Special diets, such as vegetarian/vegan diets
Giving vitamin supplements in large doses as a shortcut is not a good solution in dealing with children who have difficulty eating. Improperly giving additional vitamin supplements can actually interfere with children's health.

Therefore, Mothers should consult a doctor first before giving vitamin supplements to children who are hard to eat.

Tips for Coping with Difficulty Eating Children

Understanding why your child is having a hard time eating can help you determine the best way to deal with the problem. The following are guidelines for dealing with hard-to-eat children that you can try:
  • Understand that loss of appetite is common when children are 2–5 years old. This may be related to the child's growth rate which tends to slow down at that age.
  • Choose nutritious food with a texture and taste that is suitable for your little one's age and liked by him.
  • If your little one has difficulty eating regular portions, you can prepare meals in smaller portions, but more often.
  • Try introducing new foods gradually. If your little one doesn't want to try a new food, you can give the food another time.
  • Give your little one healthy snacks that are rich in nutrients, such as fruit, vegetables, and yogurt. However, avoid giving the snack too much or before the next meal.
  • Invite your little one to play and exercise more often because these activities can stimulate appetite. However, don't let your little one get too tired and try not to exercise before it's time to eat.
  • Get used to eating with your little one so that the child can imitate the mother to live a healthy diet.

Increase Vitamin Intake for Difficult Children to Eat

To increase appetite and increase nutritional intake in children's food, here are tips and tricks that you can try to do:

Make sauce to add flavor

Foodstuffs such as carrots, beans, or potatoes, can be given as a type of finger food to make it easier for children to eat. However, some children may complain that they are lazy to eat because it tastes bland.

If your little one refuses to eat these foods, you can try making a variety of dipping sauces from natural ingredients so that they taste more interesting. For example, tomato sauce, lemon, peanuts, or garlic. However, avoid giving additional seasonings such as MSG in excess.

Adding vegetables to food

Various vegetables contain minerals and vitamins as well as fiber that are beneficial for the growth and development and digestion of children.

When your little one refuses a variety of vegetables, you can focus on giving him the type of vegetables he likes, such as carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, or spinach. The most important thing is that children want to eat nutritious food first.

Over time, he will begin to be curious about the taste of other types of food that are often consumed by those around him. Gradually, you can also introduce a variety of other vegetables without having to force it.

Give your child milk and its processed products

Some children may be reluctant to drink milk that tastes unattractive. In fact, milk contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D which are needed for growth and development.

If your little one refuses to drink milk, you can work around this by giving your little one milk mixed with interesting-tasting fruits or dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese. Another way is to give your little one cereal with added milk.

As a parent, you must be patient in giving your little one food and don't force him if he doesn't want to eat. Guide your little one until he wants to try new foods and get used to eating healthy and nutritious foods.

However, if your little one still doesn't want to eat until their weight is reduced or their growth and development is problematic, it's recommended that you take your child to the doctor so that the cause can be identified and appropriate treatment can be taken.

To improve the health condition and nutritional status of the little one, the doctor will recommend a healthy diet and provide vitamin supplements for hard-to-eat children, if needed.