There goes a popular statement that “children eat what they like and leave the rest”.
So what determines the food preferences and eating behavior of children? It has been researched and documented that infants have a preference for food which tastes sweet and is high in energy as it satisfies their desire and gives them comfort. However the longing for sweet food disappears with progressing age. Parents often take pride when they see the growth of their children going high on a growth chart. What majority of them fail to understand is high projection in growth standards might be laying the foundation for obesity and other metabolic diseases later in adulthood. Home being the first educational institute for children and parents being their first teacher have a great influence in determining food habits, trends, likes and dislikes of children. Parents who introduce variety in food from an early stage and have a conducive environment where children are encouraged to eat with family members have shown balanced nutritional status, better school performance and improved growth.
Thus, focus should be on providing optimal nutrition rather than over or under nutrition.