"The great tragedy of parents!" Dr. Steluța Boroghină explains where we go wrong with children's nutrition: "This is how we make them addicted to sweets!"

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"The great tragedy of parents!" Dr. Steluța Boroghină explains where we go wrong with children's nutrition: "This is how we make them addicted to sweets!" / PHOTO: freepik.com @volodymyr-t
"The great tragedy of parents!" Dr. Steluța Boroghină explains where we go wrong with children's nutrition: "This is how we make them addicted to sweets!" / PHOTO: freepik.com @volodymyr-t

Dr. Steluța Boroghină, a board-certified pediatrician, nutritionist, and specialist in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, was invited to the "Present Parents" show, moderated by Loredana Iriciuc, editor-in-chief of ParintisiPitici.ro, to discuss the importance of nutrition for children.

During the discussion, dr. Boroghină emphasized the importance of breastfeeding in the first six months of a baby's life, stating that it is essential to provide this very good start in life. In cases where breastfeeding is not possible, the doctor mentioned the existence of alternative solutions.

In addition to breastfeeding, the moment of introducing solid foods represents an important step in a child's development. Dr. Boroghină emphasized that this is the moment when the parent's role becomes evident, and how diversification is carried out can influence the child's long-term health and eating habits.

"Breastfeeding is essential in life, the first six months are indicated for the baby to be breastfed. And it's a very good start in life that we can offer. When breastfeeding is not possible, there are solutions, there are specially produced formulas for each type of need and nutrition. After that, where the parent's role comes in, we start diversification. This is the crucial moment.

I don't believe any child dies of hunger, I haven't seen it, it's somehow the projection and desire of the parents. I've seen children overfed or children who don't fulfill their parents' dreams or desires.

Ultimately, children eat as much as they need.

If we somehow educate them wrongly or make mistakes during this diversification period, we may have problems later on", said Dr. Steluța Boroghină on Present Parents, a show by ParintisiPitici.ro.

Dr. Boroghină: "We need to have a lot of patience, to insist, but to insist gently"

PHOTO: freepik.com @freepik

Dr. Boroghină emphasized that sometimes the difficulty lies in understanding that each child has their preferences and dietary needs, and parents need to be patient and gently persistent. Regarding diversification, Dr. Boroghină highlighted the importance of introducing a wide variety of foods, including those with bitter tastes, such as Brussels sprouts or broccoli. Clinical studies have shown that early exposure to dietary diversity can influence children's long-term food preferences, making them less attracted to sweets during adolescence or school years.

"Parents are very careful to provide their children with the healthiest foods possible, to match. A lot of people are interested in social media and various groups, and there are recipes, little recipes. The idea is to adhere to some norms and general principles that somehow remain because our health remains the same over the years. Nothing changes with the emergence of these groups or all the advisors from outside the field.

How do we introduce them (the foods during diversification)? That can help us anytime, from books to social media pediatricians, and family doctors. The problem is not here, because everyone knows. In the sixth month, we start with a diversified meal, perhaps we know the principles. What parents don't quite understand or have patience for is that the child also has his own will and depends a lot on his state every day. So we need to have a lot of patience, to insist, but to insist gently. To understand when a child truly doesn't want food, for example, and to reintroduce it several times, because eventually children do come to accept it.

There are indeed clinical studies that show us: that children who are taught from an early age during the diversification period with as many foods as possible, as richly colored, as diversified, including bitter tastes like Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, end up not loving sweets as much once they become teenagers or schoolchildren, preschoolers. Let's not change their tastes from the beginning!" the nutritionist doctor added.

Board-certified pediatrician: "This is how we make them dependent on sweets, without even realizing it"

PHOTO: freepik.com @freepik

The board-certified pediatrician highlighted some important aspects related to children's nutrition, emphasizing that certain things should be avoided, at least in the child's first year of life. The doctor pointed out that there are restrictions regarding certain foods.

"What are we not allowed to give them? There are a few things that really should be avoided, at least in the first year. We don't give salt to children because it affects their kidney function. We don't give them honey, we all know the risk of botulism. And in principle, it's advisable not to put honey in hot liquids, even if the child is over one year old.

Speaking of altering taste, we don't add sugar to their food. Many parents taste their baby's food, considering that it doesn't have a very pleasant taste... Yes, it doesn't have a pleasant taste for our tastes, which are already modified, and matured, but for a child who has all the necessary receptors for all types of tastes, but whose tastes are not yet developed, the special foods for children do not taste bad.

So, let's not judge from our point of view! Many parents add honey, add sugar, and this is how we make them become dependent on sweets, without even realizing it", Dr. Steluța Boroghină added.

The quantities of food offered by parents to children

PHOTO: freepik.com @valuavitaly

Dr. Steluța Boroghină brought up a particularly important issue in children's nutrition, emphasizing that after the age of one, the focus is not necessarily on what they eat, but rather on how much they eat.

The doctor noted that frequently, children, starting from the age of 3-4, begin to limit the range of foods they consume, which can become a problem if dietary diversity has not been sufficiently promoted during the weaning period.

Another issue highlighted by Dr. Boroghină is related to the large quantities of food offered by parents to children. Many of them are not aware of the reduced caloric needs of children compared to adults.

"After the age of one, when we have already been introduced to all the foods, the problem is not what they eat, it is how much they eat, and this is essential. Here lies the great tragedy of parents!

Indeed, after 3 - 4 years old, children often begin to eat only two, three, or five foods. There are exceptions of this kind, unfortunately, increasingly common in practice, because there hasn't been enough emphasis during the weaning period to ensure that the foods accessible to the child are as varied as possible.

The quantities provided by parents are far too large! Very few parents know that, for example, at preschool age, it is sufficient for a child to eat less than half of what an adult eats. By the age of 9-10, two-thirds are sufficient, considering that a child should play a lot, and have a lot of physical activity. If we don't let them play, move enough to consume, and especially if we continually offer them food because there is a tendency to overfeed them and to always have food at hand.

What should concern us is how many times a day they eat, to have at least some breaks of 2 and a half - 3 hours between meals or between meals and snacks, and not to force them towards a certain taste", the pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition specialist added.

Dr. Steluța Boroghină: "Children should learn that eating is a conscious act!"

PHOTO: freepik.com @freepik

Dr. Steluța Boroghină, a board-certified pediatrician, emphasized the importance of teaching children that eating is not only a social event, but also a conscious process.

"Children should learn that eating is not just a social event, meaning we eat with the whole family, we eat together, it's a moment of peace, but also a conscious act, meaning we know we are eating!

Returning to the topic of weaning, we teach them, even at the risk of getting messy with food. There are several types of weaning, we may or may not agree with them, but ultimately the WHO accepts them all. As long as they are safe, there is no risk of choking or aspiration, it's perfectly fine for children to pick up very well-cooked and soft pieces of food with their hands, to play with them eventually, because that's how they get accustomed to eating and make friends with it.

If you give them a plate with all the colors, of course, they will try them all! At least they'll try, whether they like them or not!", the board-certified pediatrician added.

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English

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