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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Behavioral Problems > Feeding Problems

Feeding Problems

Mealtimes are happy times; but sometimes feeding is a problem and a cause of concern for parents. How should you encourage your child to eat? Here are some simple ways. Read them and follow them and see the change.

A common problem that seems to be the bane of most parents can be classified as a habit disorder. It takes the form of food fads, indigestion, excessive or no appetite, or even a perverted appetite where the child will eat just about anything he can lay his hands on. But did you know that the root cause of this problem is emotional instability? 

Have you noticed that your emotional state of mind is directly related to your digestive functions? When you are nervous or tense you tend to lose your appetite and when you have nothing much to do, your hunger pangs seem to be active and this is the time that you could overindulge. The same goes for your child. When he or she is facing a test or an examination, he finds it very difficult to eat. Not only this, sometimes the bowel movements get activated too. The reverse is also true. A hungry child is also an irritated child and will not be able to concentrate on his studies. On the other hand a well-fed child is quite contented and seems to do his work properly.

When does feeding become a problem?

The basics of food problems generally lie in a strained parent-child relationship. Quite often one sees the maid or one of the parents chasing the child around the house with a spoon and a bowl of food. Sometimes playing 'catching cook' when it is actually the cook who seems to be doing the catching. This is not the way to go around feeding the child. The child should be taught to have a little respect for food, and made to sit down in the right place and eat however much he or she wants to eat. You can not and should not force a child to eat more than he can. If he is full and you are trying to force him, he is bound to run away.

Sometimes a child may not like a certain food, or may not be in the mood to eat it at that particular time. It is best to leave him alone for awhile and let him have his way occasionally. If you create an unpleasant scene each time he does not want something, he will begin to dread mealtimes or worse still use it as a weapon against you when he wants to upset you. Or he may even begin to dislike that food item completely. If you leave him be, he may automatically begin to eat it at a later stage. You must remember that your child can not stay hungry and will ask you for something to eat sooner or later. You must keep a lot of healthy snacks ready for your growing child.

Simple solutions

There was a case of a young boy who ate nothing but rice and pulses. His worried mother took him to a child-guidance clinic, where they advised her not to force him to eat, as he seemed quite fit and healthy. Instead, they advised him to take part in a lot of outdoor activities. One day, he returned from a ten-day camp, having eaten three meals a day consisting of various vegetables, fruits and all kinds of pulses. 

Some families see each other only at dinnertime. At this point parents try to find out everything that the child did at school, his grades, etc. They might even discuss unpleasant things that happened at work, or argue, making the child feel uncomfortable. Mealtimes are not the right time to pull up your child for his studies and make him lose his appetite. That can be done later. An extremely nervous child will find it difficult to swallow and might even suffer from nausea. You must try to make your mealtimes pleasant for the full family. Have light, pleasant conversation and play some good music in the background. Music is known to have a soothing effect on the nervous system and will help to digest the food better. You may discuss the good things that have happened in your day and try to make your child feel secure and loved to help him grow into a satisfied and contented human being.

Last but not the least; always maintain a routine for the child to follow. Mealtimes should be fixed from the beginning. In this way, the child automatically gets hungry around that time, and eats to his and your satisfaction. Sometimes when parents come home late or have to go out early, the child's food timings can go haywire. This should be avoided, as the child should be taught self-discipline and respect for food by sticking to a routine. If these basics tips are followed, no parent need complain of feeding problems anymore.

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Gaurang Mishra.3 years ago
The simple solutions to make children eat by themselves are very useful . We actually discuss about the things that happened at school and office during our dinner time. This article has been an eye opener and hereafter I should take care and choose topics for conversation during dinner or meals time at home.
hina.5 years ago
thanx for the simple solution para it was helpful..
.8 years ago
My 6 months old daughter does not want to eat anything, she just cries when we want to feed her anything even milk.she just keep food in her mouth . any suggestion, we are very tensed.
Newbird.8 years ago
Hi neha
I have a 14 month old boy n i went thru the same stage...believe me never force won't help will only aggrevate the problem.Try this...offer food twice if still ur daughter declines then don't force just put it away.Try something else after 1/2hr juice/smoothie/biscuit etc...again if she declines...then let her be. Kids sometimes develop this attitude towards food only when they have been forced fed(believe me even i have done that)...the best part is they forget easily!! Let her play with her food...taste it herself...make supper time happy time...n u'll see things will change. Don't worry if she doesn't eat properly for few days...thats is OK.
Try it worked for me!
nishita.8 years ago
during lunch and dinner time dont give anything to eat your child will automatically gets hungry and he or she will have proper lunch or dinner.if the children is taking the milk more than 2 times reduce it and give soup pulses fruits corn etc
KA.8 years ago
my 1 year old eats only if i put her on my lap. she hates the idea of sitting on the hi-chair to eat. any ideas to change her habit ?
shilpa.8 years ago
is there any suggestion for increase the apetite for childeren means homemade solutions...
sonia.8 years ago
my 4 yr old child eats only a 4 mnth baby jar of porridge and a bowl of custard since he was 1-1/2 yrs old at the time he developed acute asthma. he still refuses to eat any solids and have got him checked out by all drs who can't find a cause for this. are there anyone else going thru' this same problem. pls help.
Katie.8 years ago
my 4yr old nephew will not eat at the table and does'nt like being told to eat it.he will cry for ages without a care in the world for any of the other children what do you think we should do? help.....
Lee.8 years ago
well katie let him eat what he wonts and then if you see him eating take it off him and tell him he should eat his tea! im here to help
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