He Refuses To Eat – Developing Eating Habits In Children Is A Tricky One

It is sometimes difficult for some parents to be patient with their child’s growth especially when other children of his/ her age group are ahead of him/her.

When I had my first child, he stopped breastfeeding before he was three (3) months old. Afterwards, he stopped accepting the feeder bottle before he was five (5) months plus. He was not up to six months and I can’t possibly start feeding him cereals. It was tough on me. I was anxious and very frustrated. How else am I going to feed him?

When he became a year he practically refuse any other meal except cereals. I went as far as blending noodles into flour, tried other meals yet no result. When he started growing teeth, he will not chew any food except biscuit and cheese ball. How convenient…LOL!

There are times that I would cry especially when I see children of his age group eating various meals. There are times I asked my hubby “are you sure our son will learn to eat other meals” his answer was, “At his own time, he will eat” it was really hard for me to believe that.

Today my son can eat anything, from pancakes to rice, Ojojo (local meal) to tomatoes, garlic, just name it. I am glad I followed him at his own pace, did not force him (he throws up whenever I do that), I would scream, get upset even cried.

I believe some parents can relate to this. We all have different experiences with our little ones. We might be experiencing a wait in some areas of our children’s life. Maybe he/she is yet to walk at age two, or he/she can’t talk well like many children of their age etc. Whatever it is, it’s important for us to know that children are different and we should give them all the time they need to come around. It’s a process.

When a child is growing, the parental anxiety makes us rush them into every meal they are not ready for. Some children may move along with your style while others will not.

As a parent, you give your child the food and also the opportunity to eat it. Let your child have the room to decide how much to eat – or whether to eat at all. When my son was not accepting new meals except cereals, I always ensure to bring the meal I want him to try out constantly before him. Sometimes I get a Yes or a” NO”, most of the time it’s a NO. I noticed he liked trying out new things from his daddy’s plate whenever he sees him eating a variety of healthy meal I used it as a tactics. I made my hubby a good instrument because my son was more willing to try them. Gradually, it paid off on the long run. Though it was a very long process, I learnt more patient and consistency. Forcing or spanking the child will only make some of them loose interest on the meal and appetite.

It is important for kids to develop a healthy eating habit at a young age. When parents want to be the ones to decide what the child eats, when and how often, limits their willingness. Understand your child’s psychology.

Best Regards,

Toke

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