Receiving the proper nutrition is crucial for children going through their development stages. Most especially for kids three years old and above, the nutrition they receive at this age can spell the difference between an active healthy childhood versus a sickly and sad one.
To help parents know what to look out for, here are some signs that your 3+ is experiencing nutrition deficiency.
Poor physical growth
One of the common signs of nutritional inadequacy is poor physical growth. This can be seen if a child is lethargic, or looking tired and sluggish. Worst case scenario is when a child is stunted, or showing impaired growth and development. These are usually caused by a child not having and getting the right nutrition they need. Sometimes, it can also be that a child receives enough nutrients but their body is unable to absorb them.
Loss of appetite
Another thing to look out for is the loss of appetite. While this is not uncommon in children as they tend to be picky with what they want to eat, parents should take notice when their child becomes highly selective with their food or refuses to eat at all.
If the child continues becoming picky with their food, it can lead to a dramatic weight loss, that may put your child at risk of being prone to sickness. Other possible reasons for being underweight is the lack of healthy nutrient-containing food in the child's diet, poor nutritional intake, or malabsorption of nutrients.
If any of these signs continue, parents should immediately consult their pediatrician to get proper medical advice.
To help parents know these nutritional deficiencies better in order to prevent their child from experiencing it, the NIDO 3+ ExperTips Congress held last May 15 brought in expert nutritionists and pediatricians.
During the plenary, Dr. Edward Martin Santos shared, "Inadequacy has something to do with the type of food that they eat. Around 72% to 78% of their (children) energy were provided by rice, bread, noodles, and sweetened beverages. The nutrient food sources are lacking, there is no variety. There is an imbalance of the important macronutrients, and micronutrients which explains that the energy intake of children are way below."
Children who are selective in their food may also result in them not getting the ideal weight for their age. Dr. Katrina Valera shared some ExperTips on how parents can manage picky eaters.
● Serve age-appropriate food
Provide children the appropriate food portion just right for them. As a guide, parents may give their child 1 tbsp per year of age per food group per meal.
● Systematically introduce new food
Avoid bribing or forcing your toddlers to try the new food. If they say no to it once, doesn’t mean that they will never eat this type of food. Try exposing new flavors or textures at least 10 times before moving on to introduce them to another food type.
● Share meal as a family and set a meal schedule
Eat together as a family so that our toddlers will be encouraged to eat along everyone. Set a meal schedule and stick to it—so that they know that there is a meal coming every 2-3 hours and they will not go hungry. Avoid giving food between the scheduled times.
● Avoid being a short order cook
When a child asks for a specific type of food, do not give in all the time. Allow your child to eat whatever food is served, and they should see that everyone is eating the same food. If parents will always give in to their requests, they are not teaching their kids to eat what is right for them.
● Involve kids in meal planning
Let your toddlers choose healthy new food options, and have them help in meal preparation. Getting them involved will help them gain more interest in eating different food options. You may also talk to them about where the food comes from to pique their curiosity and encourages them to eat more.
Knowing what meals to prepare can also boost the child's appetite. Nutritionist-Dietician Ms. Ditas Sagarbarria shared some mealtime preparation tips so kids can eat something they like and enjoy while still eating healthy. "Maximize the use of Filipino viands that are very soupy because they like to drink rather than to eat."
Celebrity mom Marian Rivera alongside her daughter Zia were also present during the event. She talked about her experience of getting past Zia's picky eating stage."May mga times na ang hirap niya pakainin, kaya ang ginagawa ko nilalagyan ko siya ng mga twist para makakain siya. Bilang nanay 'di ka maggi-give up, kaya gagawin mo ang lahat para makakain siya ng tama at syempre ang gusto natin 'yung may nutrisyon siyang makukuha."
(Sometimes it is really hard to feed her (Zia), so what I do is I put twists on the food. But there are also times where you really need to feed them yourself. As a mother, you do not give up easily, you need to do everything so that she can eat right and get the nutrition that she needs.")
That is why for Mommy Marian, she only trusts NIDO® 3+ for ate Zia. Being the only milk with LACTOBACILLUS PROTECTUS® that helps support 3+ kids' upper respiratory defense, Mommy Marian is confident that she is providing her child the additional protection she needs to avoid cough and colds, in addition to the 3 well-balanced meals she provides Zia everyday.
Nutrients like Vitamin A, C, E, and Zinc for the immune system, DHA for the brain, PREBIO3® for digestion, and other essential vitamins and minerals to help aid a child’s overall growth and development are also present in NIDO® 3+ expert formulation. These, along with 3 well-balanced meals everyday, give 3+ toddlers age-appropriate nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong* while they go through the most fundamental years in their life. To give your child TODO protection and nutrition, give two glasses of NIDO® 3+ a day, once in the morning and one at night.
Host, actress, and mom of three, Iya Villania, also shared during the NIDO® 3+ ExperTips Congress, "Kami with Primo, sa umpisa medyo madali kasi kahit anong ibigay mo, kakainin nila. Pero umabot kasi siya sa edad na 'yung may malay na sila at nagiging picky na rin. Ngayon hindi puwede magkaroon ng mga gaps in their nutrition, we want to keep them healthy and strong. At least with NIDO® 3+ with just two glasses a day, ang dali lang. It is so easy to give that kind of support."
(It was pretty easy to feed Primo in the beginning because he will eat whatever you give him. But then he reached the age that he is already picky. It is important to watch their nutrition to keep them healthy and strong, and to prevent nutrition gaps. Now, with two glasses a day of NIDO® 3+ it is easy. It is so easy to give them the nutritional support that they need.)
NIDO® 3+ Brand Manager Meg Guevarra said, "There is definitely more we can do, but this is the first step in making sure we give the next generation of Filipino children the right support that they need. Nestlé will continue to be your partner in this mission, and we look forward to sharing more opportunities to learn and enjoy more adventures with your 3+ toddlers."
The NIDO 3+ ExperTips Congress was an opportunity for parents to learn more ExperTips from nutrition and toddler experts on how they can address nutritional gaps in children, as well as getting past the picky eating stage of every kid. It also addressed the importance of giving the right growing up milk for 3+ children.
More than that, the virtual event reminded parents of the important role they play in their child's health and formative growth and to pay careful attention to the food and milk they give their
For more information, visit NIDO's website at or follow its Facebook page for updates .
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