Many of us constantly keep worrying about the eating habits of our children; as eating the right kind of food at right time in a right way is very essential for the all-round development of our children. Some of the common problems related to eating pattern
Many of us constantly keep worrying about the eating habits of our children; as eating the right kind of food at right time in a right way is very essential for the all-round development of our children. Some of the common problems related to eating patterns of children are discussed below:
Keeping the food inside mouth for very long time and eating very slowly. Not chewing the food properly and swallowing it, or having problem in swallowing. Leaving meals unfinished, bringing back unfinished lunch box from school. Vomiting just after eating the food.
Keep asking for food throughout the day and not eating at a time a complete meal. Not ready to eat fruits and vegetable or being very selective regarding food. Always wants to eat chocolates, wafers, chips, noodles and other junk foods instead of homemade food.
Drinking water simultaneously while eating.
Crying a lot at the time of eating.
Overeating or eating more than one's age even when not hungry.
Yes, certainly we all can make our children eat properly and happily, only thing we have to do is to add a little more effort, little more love and remember certain things at the time of feeding, as has been discussed below.
Try to make the food healthy as well as tasty for your child. Try to understand the taste of our child and prepare food accordingly. It is important that the child should develop all types of taste and should eat all kind of foods but the process of making the child acquainted with it should be gradual and step wise.
Take special care regarding presentation, try to serve the food in attractive container or somehow try to make the food look attractive. Add variety to your menu.
Try to make the eating session enjoyable and interesting for the child. Talk to your child, tell stories, sing songs, show picture books, give toys, etc. in case of older children its better if the child eats along with parents or other family members.
Especially in case of older kids, make the child eat fruits and salad etc. along with you. Children follow the footsteps of their parents, so if we will eat healthy and nutritious food our children will definitely learn from us.
Tell the child about the benefits of eating a balanced diet; you can also use rhymes and stories for conveying your message.
Do not nag your child too much for eating; try to give a little space and independence.
Encourage the child to eat himself no matter even if the food gets spilled over.
Never show your irritation or impatience while feeding or making the child eat himself. Be encouraging and supportive. Make the child feel that you enjoy feeding him/her and that you are happy to see his/her efforts in learning to eat by self.
Try & spend some quality time with your little ones.
Try to keep the family environment friendly and peaceful.
Praise your child, even in front of others as the child starts gradually adopting good eating habits like eating salads or when he/she eats up her share completely. You can also give a kiss & hug to your baby.
The reasons behind these faulty eating patterns can be categorized into three broad categories, namely- Biological factors, Environmental factors and Psychological factors.
Sometimes the child acquires faulty eating habits due to lack of proper adult supervision and sometimes due to over strictness of parents. Some parents are extremely concerned about their child's diet and development. They force their children to eat everything whatever they feel is good, but do not take proper care about the presentation and taste of food. Eating becomes a compulsion for the child and slowly the child withdraws from food and finds way to escape like crying or vomiting while eating, etc. In contrast some parents are too liberal, they give their child whatever they demand to eat without noticing the nutritive value. Some parents are too busy to find time for their kids and sometimes due to lack of patience they give in to their child's demand for junk food and as a consequence the child develops faulty eating habits. One important fact that we should not forget is, a child's food habits is greatly influenced by the food habits of the parents or elders with whom the child resides. If we concentrate on eating more tasty and less healthy food and expect our children to eat more healthy and less tasty food then it's just not fair. We should first change ourselves in order to change our child.
If the child is not being able to chew or swallow the food properly or vomits repeatedly after eating, or if the child shows disinterest toward towards eating then it's always better to take a first-hand advice from your pediatrician. Sometimes may be due to some kind of problem in internal organs like esophagus or food pipe, stomach or in mouth the child may show aversion for food. So it's better to take the child for a complete examination so that the exact reason can be known.
Like adults children also feel depressed, stressed, frustrated, emotionally deprived, lonely, nervous or anxious. If the child does not get a conducive atmosphere or feeling of happiness at home or school and feels neglected, lonely, fearful or inferior; then the child may develop some kind of eating disorders. Either the child can use food as a kind of compensation for everything and starts overeating or may lost interest in food gradually. Sometimes too much of parental nagging may also irritate the child and child throws more tantrums while eating.
Some studies also show that mental health of nursing mother, at time of feeding her baby is also influential in determining the kind of eating habits the child is going to develop later on. Mothers who remained depressed, disinterested, irritated, especially while feeding babies may have babies with poor eating habits and with poor development. Premature birth, low birth weight and feeding distress can also be precursor to sever eating difficulties in children; as found out in some studies.
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