Help, How Do I Give My Kid Medicine?
An estimated 30–50% of parents experience fussiness or picky eating within the family. In short, approximately a quarter to a half of the population are the parents of a picky eater. While picky eating can happen at any age, parents can help kids curb pickiness with a regular meal schedule, leading by example, encouraging meal prep participation, and lots of patience. However, in cases of allergies, compounded medication can provide an alternative.
1. Consistency is king
As a general rule, serve food at the same time every day. When a child decides not to eat a main meal of the day, a later snack time will offer another opportunity for at least a few nutritious bites. Milk or juice is ideal for snack time, with water interspersed to ensure hydration. Of note, children should not fill up fully on liquids or snacks throughout the day. Too much snacking can ruin the appetite for dinner.
2. Eat by example
If asking a child to take a bad-tasting medicine or maintain a healthy diet, commit to leading by example. Modeling balanced eating helps a child create a harmonious relationship with food. Where the parents are unsuccessful, a peer role model like a cousin, sibling, aunt, or uncle can step in to lead by example.
3. Prioritize participation
Whenever possible, help kids participate in preparing for mealtime. Take kids along to the grocery store to help pick out healthy foods. When preparing dinner, encourage children to toss a salad, set the table, or do other small tasks. By making food fun, parents keep kids from associating food with anxiety, drudgery, or obligation. When the time for medicine rolls around, kids will take doses with little to no fuss.
4. Use compounded medication
In cases of allergies, patients who are unable to take a specific component of common medications may turn to compounded care. Some experts recommend compounded medications to patients with common intolerances, such as dye. Customizing the dose allows pharmacists to remove problematic ingredients, allowing for exact and made-to-measure treatments. Furthermore, compounded medications allow pharmacists to change the form of the medication. Children who cannot swallow pills can take the medication in liquid form, often flavored with grape, cherry, or orange to make taking the medicine easier.
No more picky eaters
Getting kids to take medication can be a challenge, but a few key strategies can help. With a combination of consistency and participation, kids can enjoy mealtime as a family experience. In specific cases of allergies, parents can explore compounded medication as a solution for a clinically picky and notably sick kid. While every child is different, with proper administration and a boatload of patience, children can get the necessary medications.