Many parents lament their children’s difficult relationship with food. Someone is called a «little baby», and someone, on the contrary, would not mind eating, but it’s too picky.
The culture of food should be instilled in the baby literally from the cradle, so that there are no problems with nutrition in the future. To do this, you need to figure out how to make friends with the baby with food.
The stumbling block: to force or not to force
Experts say unanimously: forcing a child to eat is not worth it. Eating is a natural human need. Baby doesn’t want to eat? He is most likely not hungry. He will definitely give a sign or say when he gets hungry.
Children may refuse to eat for a variety of reasons. If the whole thing is in poor health, then it is necessary to take up the treatment of the child. You can offer him a light broth, fruit or porridge on the water. If he refuses in this case, then it will be enough to observe the drinking regimen: warm water, herbal teas, broths.
Another common reason for refusing food is a dislike for specific foods. A child may not eat soup if his hated onion floats in it, or refuse fish dishes because he does not like the characteristic smell.
What to do in this case? In no case do not force the baby to eat unloved food by force! All this can complicate the relationship with food. Do not form in your child thoughts about eating, as about hard labor and serving a sentence. Instead, you can offer your child different versions of the “hated” dish about once a month. Baby can’t stand broccoli? And if you make soup puree, casserole, pancakes or bake with cheese?
Remember that a person’s tastes change with age, so it’s important to occasionally offer an older child olives, broccoli, or something else that he couldn’t stand a couple of years ago. In this matter, it is important to be tactful and not insist if the son or daughter vigorously refuses.
This tactic will help avoid selective eating behavior when the child likes only «sausages with pasta» and will gradually expand the palette of his favorite tastes.
Don’t be discouraged if your attempts are not successful. The child may well have their own taste preferences.
How to instill healthy eating habits in your child
So that in the future the child does not get health problems and does not learn what eating disorders are, moms and dads should instill good eating habits in babies from early childhood.
one. Root out the rule “If you haven’t finished eating, you won’t get up from the table” or “All the power is in the last spoon.” These absolutely incorrect attitudes have spoiled more than one life, affecting people in the form of overeating and feelings of guilt. Is the child fed up? Everything, he can leave the dining place, even if the cutlet and mashed potatoes are left half-eaten. Teach your child to listen to his body’s satiety signals and avoid overfeeding.
2. Be a good example. Toddlers always copy parental behavior, including food. In addition, it is moms and dads who decide what foods to buy, what to cook and what time to serve meals. Therefore, try to eat right yourself, do not skip meals, dine in a designated place in a calm environment without a phone at hand or a TV turned on.
3. Set power mode. Mode is the foundation of the basics. But he must also be healthy. It is wrong to eat when it pleases, but too clearly adjusted lunches and dinners, as if by seconds, are also not the best example to follow. It is best to agree in advance with the whole family: “Dinner in an hour”, “We will have lunch in 15 minutes, go wash your hands.”
four. Teach your child about healthy snacks. If the child had a hearty breakfast or lunch and does not want to eat at the moment, he may well get hungry later. Tell him about healthy snacks: apple slices, carrot sticks, whole-rubber crackers, vegetables or fruits. It is worth introducing a rule — snacking should be in moderation. So the child will learn to reasonably distribute portions of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let on the table in the kitchen in the free access is what you can eat.
5. Small portions. The secret to good health is not eating big, but eating regularly and in moderation. Serve your baby food in a small neat dish — even psychologically it will be more pleasant for him than looking at a huge deep bowl of borscht or a huge dish with meat and a side dish.
6. Parents care teach your child to recognize the feeling of hunger and not to be confused with emotions — boredom, melancholy, sadness. These emotions, even an adult often «jams». Tell your child about the importance of trusting what he feels and teach him to recognize what exactly he wants to eat. Try to cook new dishes together, discuss the nuances of tastes and emotions about cooking and eating food.
It is important for moms and dads to remember that a child’s relationship with food is based on several factors: family traditions, health, temperament and taste preferences. Does the child eat like a bird or refuses to eat? Do not force — the baby is not an enemy to himself, so he eats exactly as much as he needs. A cause for concern can only be if the reduced appetite is caused by ailments. In this case, you should show your son or daughter to a specialist doctor.