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Strategies to Address Concerns about a Child’s Diet or Eating Habits

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Nutrition is one of the keys to healthy growth and life. Eating colorful food such as vegetables and fruits will help people to acquire the vitamins, minerals, and fibers they need to strengthen their immune systems and keep their bodies healthy. Thus, it is vital to start shaping healthy eating habits during the early childhood years. It is in the hands of teachers/caregivers to start establishing and building a foundation of a healthy diet or eating habits for children to have good lifelong eating habits. Furthermore, teachers/caregivers can also help to address concerns about a child’s diet or eating habits. Teachers/caregivers can introduce different kinds/types of food, use interactive activities for the children to explore different food, and provide opportunities to learn about appetites or eating habits.

Young children can be very picky with their food, especially vegetables because they might not like the taste or they might not be familiar with it. Children would tend to reject food that they’re not familiar with, at first. Furthermore, as a teacher, I can address this concern by introducing them to a variety of food in a way that will engage and encourage them to try it. First, I can incorporate the introduction of the types of food into play. For instance, I would introduce the food groups: vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and grains, to the group so they to get familiar with them. As I introduce them to the food groups, I would show the children pictures or tangible plastic toys for them to see. After I’d introduced them to food groups, we would play a picnic pretend play where they would sort out the food to get them more familiar. Moreover, another way of introducing the children to different types of food is through serving the food creatively because this will appeal to the child and would be encouraged them to try it. For instance, at snack time, carrots, celery, and cucumber could be served in thin strips with low-fat dip to appeal to the children or be served in another way like carrot bread. With all these strategies in introducing different types of food, I as a teacher would be able to respond to the concerns a child has with his/her diet or eating habits.

If a child is only eating very little portion sizes or insists on only eating one type of food, one of the ways that will help the children to experience other food is through food exploration activity. Food exploration can encourage children to learn about familiar and unfamiliar food through the use of their five senses. Children are multi-sensory learners and through this kind of exposure, a child will more likely to retain what he/she has learned about food since all his/her five senses were stimulated and would be encouraged to eat other food. In addition to this, as a teacher, I would plan food exploration activities as a strategy to help build a foundation in food choices and awareness of different types of food. For instance, I would let the children explore and investigate an apple. First, I would ask the children to describe the apple by its color, shape, and size for the sense of sight. Next, I would ask them to feel and describe the texture for the sense of touch. Then, I would ask them to take a bite of the apple that will make a crunchy sound or cut it, using a kid-friendly knife and with adult supervision, for the sense of taste and sound. Moreover, this kind of strategy will not only let the children have fun and learn about food but this experience can also go in a long way and can be used develop to their cooking /kitchen skills someday. All in all, as a teacher, I would use food exploration to encourage children to try out new food to develop new food preferences and help guide the children to a healthy lifestyle.

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Each child has a different appetite and eating habits. Children sometimes would have the tendency to eat a little today and eat a lot the next, the children’s eating patterns can be unpredictable. As a teacher, I would provide opportunities for the children to learn about how to control their food intake and balance their meals to get the nutrients they need. For preschool children, the first thing I would do is to help children recognize their own natural hunger and full body cues such as stomach growl and stomach ache if they ate too much. I would use visuals or demonstrate by filling up a glass jar with water for the children to understand the concepts of empty, full, and too much. Teaching the children about recognizing their own natural hunger and fullness will help and encourage the children to eat a healthy balanced diet and decrease the risk of being overweight or obese in the future. Besides this, I can provide opportunities for the children to learn about controlling their food intake and eating habits by giving them the opportunity to serve food to themselves with the use of kid-friendly and appropriate-size portion utensils. With this opportunity, they will know and experience how much should they eat. With all this in mind, I can address a child’s diet or eating habits by teaching the children to learn about their own natural body signals and allowing them to serve themselves with an appropriate size portion.

Teachers and caregivers should always be observant and pay close attention to children and their eating habits. Observing the children while it's snack time or recess will help to see if there are concerns and problems that need to be addressed. Further, as a teacher/caregiver, I would be wary and I may raise some concerns if I observed the child eat only a small size portion, for example just taking a bite or two of his/her food or rejecting the food for the past week. I would continue to observe the child’s eating habits to get more information and encourage the child to eat more than two bites. Then, I would share with the parents in person what I’ve observed from their child’s eating habits. I would respectfully ask the parents if they also share the same concerns as I have at home and/or ask a few more questions regarding the child’s diet and eating habits. After that, I would work with the parents on what to do next to help the child if the same issue occurs at home. I would make an appointment with them to collaborate on the learning activity that can be done at the center and at home such as food exploration and cooking activities that encourage the child to try out the food. Further, if the same problem persists I will not only work with the parents but also ask for some information from professionals to have a better understanding of the situation.

In conclusion, when a child rejects food, insists to eat one food, and eats too much are some signs that can trigger some concerns about a child’s diet or eating habits. As a teacher planning activities and strategies such as introducing food groups, food exploration, and providing opportunities to learn about appetites or eating habits can help address the concern and help the child to learn more about his/her nutrition. Not only this, communication and collaboration with parents are essential in supporting the child’s nutrition and health.

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Strategies to Address Concerns about a Child’s Diet or Eating Habits. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
“Strategies to Address Concerns about a Child’s Diet or Eating Habits.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023,
Strategies to Address Concerns about a Child’s Diet or Eating Habits. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2023].
Strategies to Address Concerns about a Child’s Diet or Eating Habits [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2023 Dec 2]. Available from:
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