Do you need to force your child to eat?? How much are you responsible for it??

Do you need to force your child to eat???Food forcing is by far the most important of all food problems. Children cannot be forced to take food. Children would slowly learn that meal times are satisfactory opportunities for causing a fuss and for attracting attention. One must remember the age old saying that “You can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink”.It is important for you to know what can cause food aversion, which in turn can lead to food forcing. It could be due to...

1. Parental attitude

Constant nagging and undue insistence on table manners is likely to make meal times a misery. In the first 3 years of age all children make some mess. The amount of mess rapidly decreases in the second and third years and patience is necessary. Hence patience is required than making the child averse food.

2. Individual variation in appetite

Each child appetite varies. It also varies from meal to meal and day to day. Some children are big eaters and the other little. Failure to recognize these variations causes mothers to worry about their child’s appetite. Food forcing may result

3. Unhappiness

Depression, insecurity or parental rejection can cause poor appetite in a child

4. Association

Any painful experience, such as taking a food when it is too hot, is likely to be remembered by a child as young as 6 months of age, and for several days he may refuse food looking like it. So stay calm during this period. He would gradually recover from this association

5. Desire for independence

Children are likely to want to hold cup at 5 to 6 months, hold spoon from 6 moths to 1 year. The sooner this is allowed that better it is for the child.A mother may refuse to let the child feed himself because she is in a hurry, or because she is afraid of the mess he will make.This would in turn suppress their desires and would lead to food forcing.

6. Development of likes and dislikes

A child may develop likes/dislikes as early as 5 months of age. Children are more affected by the appearance of food that it is often realized. Some mothers show little interest in supplying variety and in making food look attractive. Whatever happens, there should be no attempt to force him to disliked foods.

7. The physical build

This is one of the most common cause of food forcing and hence food refusal. Child may be small in size because of his genetics. He might want to eat less and this causes pressure in the mother and leads to food forcing

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