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Feeding Toddlers & Young Children

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1 Feeding Toddlers & Young Children
Chapter 16 Feeding Toddlers & Young Children ©2015 Cengage Learning.

2 Toddler Development and Eating Behaviors
Developments that influence toddlers’ eating behaviors: Physical changes Rate of growth slows considerably Choking remains a hazard Appetite decreases Motor skills improve; toddlers can use utensils and drink from a cup, but need much practice Small stomach capacity; must eat often Photo: © Cengage Learning

3 Toddler Development and Eating Behaviors (continued)
Social development Experiences frequent mood swings Struggles with autonomy and asserting independence Still experimenting with strong taste and texture preferences; not uncommon for toddlers to spit out food or use their hands to remove it from their mouth Enjoys adult attention and approval Neophobic Abundance of taste buds intensifies flavor of some foods Texture: transitioning from pureed foods to table foods and still have an active gag reflex; prone to choking Prefer foods to be served individually and not touching Neophobic– fearful of new things ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

4 Preschool- and School-Age Children: Development and Eating Behaviors
Developments that influence older children’s eating behaviors: Physical changes Growth continues at a slower pace and often in spurts Appetite is good, but children prefer smaller meals and eating often Photo: © Cengage Learning

5 Preschool- and School-Age Children: Development and Eating Behaviors
Motor skills Are able to feed themselves independently; may still have many spills and accidents Enjoy helping with food preparation Photo: © Cengage Learning

6 Preschool- and School-Age Children: Development and Eating Behaviors
Social development Younger children commonly dawdle during mealtime; older children are often in a hurry to finish and return to their activities. They imitate the food preferences of others. Older children are often eager to try new foods.

7 Supporting Positive Feeding Practices
Adults are responsible only for providing nutritious foods and meals for children to eat. Follow MyPlate recommendations (Figure 16-1; Consider variety, flavor, texture, color, and temperature when planning meals (Figure 16-2 and 16-3). Top Image:

8 Supporting Positive Feeding Practices
Children determine what they will eat and how much food they are willing to eat. Serving sizes should be appropriate for child’s age. Expect skipped meals and picky eating. Avoid letting children fill up on milk if they won’t eat. Respecting these roles reduces power struggles and helps children develop trust and independence.

9 Supporting Positive Feeding Practices
Children are in the process of establishing lifelong eating and activity habits, so it is important to: Be a positive role model. Encourage children to try new foods and activities. Watch this beautiful story for children by clicking on the link: It is most important that very young children be exposed to a variety of foods and encouraged to choose nutrient‑dense foods because lifelong eating habits are believed to be determined by the age of five years.

10 Based on Color Me Healthy

11 Children with Special Feeding Needs
Children who have developmental delays or medical conditions may also have special feeding needs. They: May not recognize when they are hungry or not be able to express hunger Have a tendency to overeat Are more prone to choking May be taking medication that interferes with nutrient absorption or increases the need for certain nutrients Have an increased tendency toward food allergies

12 Mealtime Environments
Time meals and snacks so children will feel hungry. Encourage physical activity to improve their appetite. Consider the ease of eating foods, especially with younger children. Warn children 5 to 10 minutes before a meal so they have time to anticipate and prepare for a change in activity. Photo: © Cengage Learning

13 Mealtime Environments
Maintain regular times for meals. Make mealtime a pleasant and relaxed experience. Don’t use food as a reward. Acknowledge desirable eating habits. Provide chairs, tables, and eating utensils that are comfortable for children to use. Involve children in meal preparation. Photo: © Cengage LearningSome guidelines for helping a child develop positive feelings about food and develop desired eating behaviors are: provide a comfortable environment for eating relative to furniture, utensils, etc. schedule appropriate intervals between meals and snacks. allow for a quiet time before eating. avoid having the child too tired or hyperactive just prior to meal‑ or snack time. eat a variety of foods with the child and show enjoyment of eating this food.

14 Snacks Snacks can make a positive contribution to children’s diets by supplying nutrients that may be lacking. Snacks should be nutrient-dense foods. High-fat, high-sugar items fill children up but also replace essential nutrients. This is a good time to introduce new foods for children to try. Avoid letting children eat whenever they are hungry.

15 Health Problems Related to Eating Habits
Dental caries Obesity Hypertension Cardiovascular disease Diabetes (Type II) Teaching children healthy eating practices can have positive lifelong outcomes. A number of health problems are thought to be directly or indirectly related to diet. Dental caries—sugar intake Obesity- obeying satiety signals Hypertension-reduce sodium Cardiovascular disease-reduce fat levels in blood (cholesterol) Diabetes (Type II)- increase due to the epidemic of obesity ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

16 TV and Food Choices The average child in the United States watches over 40,000 television commercials every single year. Children watch as many as 200,000 food ads between 2 and 12 years of age Advertisers spend over $12 billion each year on advertising aimed specifically at the young people in America's households. The worst part is that studies have shown that children under the age of eight don't have the ability to look at these ads critically. For them, what the TV shows is true and real. So when a preschooler is watching a television commercial that shows a breakfast cereal turning kids into champion basketball players, he assumes that the cereal really has those powers. Why is this terrible thing? Well, children are actually one of the main factors in shopping decisions. They put pressure on their parents to buy a particular brand and refuse to eat anything else or throw a fit until the parent gives in and buys the chosen toy or cereal or flavored milk. The only reason the child wanted it in many cases is because he is convinced that it will do special things for him. Advertisers know just how to pitch their products so that children can't resist. Print this article Significance Advertisers spend more than $12 billion annually to cater commercials to children. The average American child watches more than 40,000 television commercials per year, and their ability to recall commercials is extremely strong. Studies show that children only need to see a commercial once to develop a preference for the particular product, and that preference is strengthened with repeated exposures. Read more at FYI Living: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day of television viewing for children. Studies have shown that long hours of television viewing may have a detrimental effect on children’s health. Children who consistently spend more than four hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. And kids who view violence on television are more likely to show aggressive behavior yet are also more likely to feel that the world is unsafe. Read more: TV Commercials & Their Effects on Children | ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

17 TV’s Double Negative Time spent in sitting and watching television might be better spent in physical activity that would increase calorie needs and thus make meeting nutrient needs for the child easier. The majority of foods advertised during children's programs are for calorie‑dense foods high in sugar and/or fat. High sugar, high fat, empty calorie foods Cereals, cookies, drinks Ads for fast foods Less than 5% of ads are for healthy foods Television may have a double negative affect on the development of good eating habits for the young child. TV viewing discourages exercise—“couch potatoes” Some children eat in front of television Consumption of soft drinks have increased 500% due to TV ads ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

18 Case Study Maria, age 7 years, is new to the community and has recently enrolled in your after-school program. She and her parents speak Portuguese, but very little English. The other children are intrigued with Maria and her “different” language. They eagerly attempt to teach her some English words by pointing to and repeating the names of foods and objects with exaggerated clarity. Although Maria seems to enjoy their attention and is responding to their efforts, you (teacher) are concerned that she still eats very little during snack time.

19 Case Study Questions Why should you be concerned that Maria is not eating? What steps can you take to learn more about her family’s food preferences? Where might you access information about foods and food preferences native to Maria’s culture? Where might you access materials to aid in Maria’s care and your ability to communicate with her family? Where might you locate an interpreter for assistance? ANSWERS TO CASE STUDY Maria is an active, growing child and, as a result, her nutrient needs are significant. Long periods without food can lead to hunger, low blood sugar, fatigue, and increased risk of unintentional injury. Healthy snacks can necessary to help meet her critical nutrient needs. In addition, eating also has social significance and may hasten her assimilation into the group. Locating an interpreter who can converse with Maria’s family would be helpful in attempting to learn about her food preferences. Maria may also be able to point out her favorite foods in magazine pictures. You might conduct an Internet search, locate books about the Portuguese culture at the library, or read through cookbooks to determine some preferred foods. Check with the local library or on the Internet. There may also be a similar cultural group in the community that could assist with Maria’s communication needs. Health departments and hospitals often have materials available in multiple languages. Check with the local high school, community college, or university language departments. Local health departments or churches with culturally diverse congregations may also be able to provide lists of persons who can serve as interpreters.

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