Lately, I was becoming worried a lot about my daughter’s eating habits and preferences. She would eat only half of what I put on the plate, disgusted to eat some of the vegetables she normally eats before like carrots, prefers drinking ice tea instead of her usual fruit juices, and demands cookies and sweets before eating meals.
I thought I would be needing immediate help from our Pedia Doctor, but then, I learned about the “Diet Shift”, a phase where kids develop a preference for other foods, mostly unhealthy ones. This desire heightens at age 4 to 7, as children start to make their own choices, and are able to voice out what they want. These foods seem to be more fun and exciting to eat because of its flavors and colors, but their health, on the other hand, becomes at risk of important nutrients for proper growth and development.
The AQIVA “Food Talk” and Launch held last April 4, 2013 at the Alphaland Southgate Tents, helped educate us, moms about the threat of the Diet Shift and most importantly provided us with solutions to cope with this phase. The discussions were led by celebrity mom, TV host and Aqiva’s brand ambassador Mikee Conjuangco-Jaworski, Dr. Bernadette Benitez, a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Specialist who currently serves as the Medical Director of Wyeth Nutrition Philippines, and Ms. Luz Callanta, Nutrition Expert and Lecturer.
Ms. Callanta shared to us that proper nutrition is needed, especially during the child’s growth and development years. This is when he needs most of the vitamins and nutrients, at the right levels. Unfortunately, she said, that this is also the same time that the threat of the Diet Shift strikes, and gaps in nutrition may occur. It is very essential at this stage to supplement at-risk nutrients in the child’s diet and nutrition.
During the event, I learned that to teach children how to eat healthy, I must understand first why unhealthy foods appeal to them in the first place. Celebrity Chef Jackie Laudico of Bistro Filipino taught us how to prepare healthy meals that kids will enjoy. As a mom, she knows the importance of styling healthy food to make it more appealing when preparing meals for children. She showcased her techniques, and we even had a hands-on experience in preparing one of her kid-friendly dishes.