Why your children wont eat and how to make them a food lover

One of the most frustrating problems that parents face is that their children won’t eat. Parents always worry that their child does not eat what they should and as much as they think, they should. As a parent, feeding your child is one of your most important jobs. Failing at that can make you think that you are an awful parent.

Many children are picky about the food they eat, it is a normal behaviour. Children will sometime eat the same food item again and again and then after some time they won’t eat the same thing at all. Every parent wants their children to eat all that healthy, amazing food they’re buying and preparing, and it’s frustrating when they won’t eat.

Understand that children do not reject the food you’ve prepared for them just to drive you crazy. There may be many reasons why children won’t eat, it can be one of the below or all of them.

  • Children grown rapidly until the age of two or three, in between this time your children’s growth will slow down and so will their diet, this is the common reason when children stop eating as much as they used to. After the rapid growth phase ends, children enter the phase where they grow steadily.
  • Your children are in their ‘picky eater’ phase. Almost all children go through this phase where they are very picky and particular about their food. They will show a lot of tantrums and will give parents a tough time.
  • Pressuring your children too much to eat may decrease their appetite; they will not learn the healthy and necessary part of food eating and will think eating food as a boring part of the day’s activity.
  • They are bored with the food you give. If parents don’t provide a variety of healthy food to their children they are bound to get bored with it. One of the main reason is they don’t like the food you offer.
  • Your children may have single or multiple food allergies. Food allergies may be one of the reasons your children are not eating.
  • Your children are addicted to junk food. When children are introduced to the junk food in early childhood, they become their favourite food and your house cooked food will look lame to them.
  • They are snacking at the wrong time, if the snacks are served close to the meal, they will eat less at meal time.
  • They may be rejecting the food just to garner your attention.
  • Your child may be distracted by TV or toys at the table.
  • Your child is very active and gets too tired to eat at meal time.
  • Your children may be teething.
  • If your children look pale and less of energy, they may be ill and will eat less.

Whatever the reason for a Children’s disinterest in food, it shall only last a few days or weeks, and rarely results in any health problems. So be patient and stop thinking that their small hunger strike can contribute to bigger problems. As long as your children are growing, developing and meeting all of their developmental milestones, there’s probably not a reason to worry. Its not your fault that your child eats less, and its out of your control to make him or her eat more.

Now let’s look at some points that will help make your child a food lover:

Your child should have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Toddlers usually don’t eat enough in one meal to remain full until the next mealtime. Offer your child small, healthy snacks in between meals.

  • Parent’s only focus should be providing quality food and not quantity.
  • Do not force a child to eat more than he wishes to. It can also lead your child to hating the food, mood swings, tantrums, and even obesity.
  • Don’t eat street foods or open foods when you are with your child.
  • Skip the tempting junk food advertisement on TV when are watching TV with kids.
  • Keep edibles that are beneficial for health in visible transparent bottles in an attractive manner, like turmeric, ginger. Seeing this, the child will ask you about the things in the bottles curiously; this is the right time to educate them about their health benefits. They will remember it for a lifetime.
  • When your child is a toddler, give them fruits in a natural way without making it delicious by adding flavours or sugar in it. See that your child likes the original taste of the fruit.
  • While eating out, in front of a child do not attack on spicy, unhealthy and decorative foods, instead take natural food like fruit bowl or a vegetable salad first, this will give your child a signal that natural food are more important and beneficial, and they will follow you.
  • When you want your child to eat something, act like it’s the most delicious thing in the world. They will see your expressions and will want to have the same.
  • You can also try getting children involved in preparing the food and let them help with some of the making process of the meal. They will be excited and eager to taste it.

It is a time taking process, so don’t loose hope. A famous child nutritionist Ellyn Satter says, “a child may need as many as 15 opportunities to experience or try a new food before they actually take it and enjoy it, so have patience. Introduce food in a variety of ways frequently to make him comfortable.” Don’t think that they will start loving the food within a short span. Don’t force, just introduce a variety of food choices.

Remember that you are your child’s role model and whatever you will do, your child will follow. Thus, be the person you want your child to be!”