Some children do not eat well because of reduced appetite. Is it necessary to force them? It is one of the most difficult questions for every parent.
Selective appetite and refusal to eat are characteristic of babies all over the world. According to research from 20% to 60% of preschool and primary school age children have food problems. However, not all nutrition problems are the same, and it is sometimes difficult to determine whether such behavior is a serious problem or an age-specific feature. Parents should consult a pediatrician if their baby has at least one of the following symptoms.
Refusal or a selective appetite may be due to a number of reasons, for example:
- the struggle for independence and a sharp change of mood;
- physiological factors, such as appetite, genetic predisposition and growth;
- affection or, on the contrary, dislike in the relationship between mother and baby.
Consequences of food problems
The majority (78%) of mothers are concerned about the imbalance in their diet and nutrition in general. Some studies indicate that nutritional problems in childhood can lead to serious physical consequences, including disruption of growth, a greater likelihood of developing chronic diseases and an increased risk of developing eating disorders in adulthood.
One of the consequences that can occur is a decrease in the quality of cognitive activity. Scientific data connects such disorders with mental retardation and say that all children with chronic protein deficiency face difficulties in performing tasks that require attention, memory, visual perception, verbal recognition and other important elements of the cognitive process. Capricious behavior at the table can lead to stress during meals, which negatively affects relationships in the family.
Communication with babies requires an integrated approach. It is necessary to conduct a full analysis of their nutritional intake and behavior, and monitor the growth and weight.
To form healthy eating habits, nutritionists recommend the following:
- Do not entertain your baby.
- Behave exactly and neutrally do not force the child to eat through strength.
- Provoke an appetite by limiting snacks and choosing the correct size of a serving.
- Limit the time of food intake about 20-30 minutes.
- Offer products that are age-appropriate.
- To introduce new dishes gradually and regularly.
- Encourage the baby to be independent – do not feed from a spoon someone who can already use the cutlery.
- Do not pay attention to neatness.