By Sajjad Amin Bangash
Factors which dissuade, discourage and resent children to eat.
Mothers often complain that their children lack interest in eating – have to be feed deliberately and with less eating, their children health turn weak. So they seem to be perplexed as to what to do in such situations. They often try different strategies to induce their children towards eating. Parents think that they understand each and every activity of their child, but that’s not true. Children are way back in thinking level of their parents. Therefore, parents need to come down to the children’s thinking level so as to effectively tackle this situation.
We often see that usually, in our home environment – the family members eat according to their hunger, time and necessity and do not eat in combined setting environment. This act badly impacts children’s thinking habit towards eating and does not develop an avid interest of eating in children. The family members get together on a dining table and often a mother, father or any elder of the family help children eating their meal.
Usually, children run away from eating anything or eat less. Here, parents try to deliberately feed the children which is dangerous for the health of the children. Child is not mentally prepared for eating anything and his/her digestive system is equally not ready to accept anything or function well thus, any given food, does not reflect sound effects on child’s health.
Now, if your child is going under such difficulties: the best way to try is to convert his eating attitude towards lightweight multi-nutritional diet which is tasty and energy enriched so that appropriate and required level of nutrients should be supplemented to children’s health. If a child seems not to take interest in eating in early attempts: he can be given light-weight diet such as sandwiches, favorite snakes of children (which contains chicken, fish or meat which energize child’s health with protein and energy) can be best remedy for inducing child towards eating a healthy diet.
Similarly, milk or extracts from milk based products can also become productive in fulfilling the required calcium level in children’s body since; calcium is the best guarantor for strengthening, vigor and growth of teeth and bones as well and collectively calcium is very important for the health of entire body. Thus, maintaining and mandating an effective diet and food time table for children daily eating routine which should contain – iron supplements such as green and fresh vegetables, beans, nuts, and salad etc. replicate positive returns on children health and their food requirements.
In addition, vitamins are considered to be highly beneficial for the health of children as well. Vitamins are highly important since, they produce “Iron” inside body from within the food while Orange and its extracts are best for obtaining Vitamin C. Besides, dry fruits are also beneficial for children’s health but one disadvantage of excessive eating of dry fruits is that they stick builds up on teeth and leave plaque on children’s teeth which cause tooth decay. Therefore, it is advisable that dry fruits can be given to children along with other eatables because the food in mouth will produce the saliva or spit within the mouth which does not allow the plaque to be attached on teeth. Dry food further produces ‘Iron’ within human body.
During eating, a mother should keep child entertained by telling him/her interesting stories and keep the child engage while eating. This way, a child will eat well and attentively.
Often, the mothers don’t make the eating schedules of little children and keep the children forced to eat ‘cereals’ whole of the week resulting in which a child in annoyance, resists to eat. Some of the mothers in a harsh attempt put spoon in the child’s mouth to eat while a child screams not to eat but the mother is committed to feed the child.
It’s therefore, necessary that if not daily, after every 03 days of the week, a child’s food patterns should be changed i.e, soft and easily digestive diets such as cereals, cornflakes, bananas, soup, sweet puddings, milk-baked semolina etc. should be given.
Often a mother maintains a fixed schedule for her child’s diet which is right to some extend, however; but if in the meantime, a child demands to eat biscuits or drink few drops of feeder then it’s equally fine and beneficial for child’s health as well because when the glucose level falls below the required level in child’s body, he spontaneously demands something to eat. Mother thinks that her child has eaten to the full and saturated.
“Worth mentioning that a child not only demands to eat during hunger rather, a child ever wants to get attention of his mother and during he feels insecure, failed in several attempts for getting mother’s milk, will demand since he knows that a mother will give him her breast milk. A child will demand for eating during hunger when a mother hasn’t been able to feed her child a satisfactory food during morning or afternoon eating schedules or imbalance diet hasn’t been taken care of in that schedule. Similarly, children often feel hungry by looking at mother’s eating something or during guests eating something, entices children to demand to eat as well.”
Research shows that several psychological problems in children such as stubborn behavior, irritation, annoyance, helplessness, unnecessarily crying, breaking things, resentment etc. occur due to inadequate provision of diet and nutritional requirements for a child’s body. This way, a child will break things, exert stubborn and annoyance which will badly effect child’s eating habits as well. So instead of unnecessary scolding the child, try to find out the reasons of such behaviors in child.
Working mothers usually appoint babysitter or maid to look after their child during their absence. Now, this creates ‘sense of loneliness’ in child since, a child is naturally attached to mother and he desperately looks around for mother’s presence and the switch of hunger turns off, a child thus seems less inclined towards eating. The usual behavior of babysitter or maid isn’t that benign and she is less keen towards child’s lack of interest in eating.
So instead of unnecessary scolding the child, try to find out the reasons of such behaviors in your child. Perhaps, your child wants to eat by your hands, or he might want to eat on carpet instead of setting up on dinning table or he might have felt a pain somewhere in his body and he wants to tell, desperate for your attention and affection or he might be scared of some stranger setting on the dinning table etc.
Therefore, taking care of some important points in mind during ‘feeding or eating time’ to child as:
Always try to give the meal to children which is neither too hot nor too frozen or cold instead meal should be balanced enough to be easily eaten by child.
Children are always careful and scary of hot meal since, they fear that their mouths can be burned inside and they’ll feel pain by it.
Similarly, try avoid giving food which is too heavy to be eaten and difficult to swallow anything like ‘excessive volume of curry which is filled with gravy widely made in South Asia’.
Therefore; always try giving dishes/meals to children which are tasty, light and easy to be eaten and which contains lesser gravy.
A mother plays a significant and vital role In bringing a corrective change in eating habits of children. Eating less is not that too dangerous sign to children’s health. As according to experts ‘this indicates that a child is getting his diet according to his normal routine and that he is growing up within the normal natural growth process.’
It’s not that mandatory that in an attempt to induce child to eat more, every time a meal should be prepared and given to him which is too favorite to his taste. As habit once developed during childhood will stay attached with your personality till the rest of our life. For instance, if a child eats too much sweet or sugar contained ingredients will certainly grow this habit which is not only harmful for teeth but also in later stages of life, this can cause ‘diabetes’ as well.
Similarly if a child takes more interests in particular vegetables, then it’s again advisable that he should also be induced towards different kinds of vegetables of similar color and nutrition. If a child resists not to eat – try not to enforce him to eat instead appreciate him with politeness if he eats well. This will greatly encourage his confidence that his parents especially mother gets happy if I eat well and takes interest in my eating. This will further encourage him to eat well.
“The display of aggressive behavior among elders in front of children and also towards children relays negative effects on children’s psychological growth and mentality while he/she will further be engrossed into ‘confusion and discouraged.”
Furthermore, heated arguments among family members during eating time is another dangerous symptom which the children keenly observe and it leaves an imprint on their minds that eating meal is such an act where everyone does argue and fight. With this very thinking, a child is less interested and attracted towards eating. Therefore, during eating times (breakfast, lunch, dinner), try to avoid heated arguments or screaming at each other, or staring rudely at children, as this will torture their innocence, interest and confidence level.