Parents know that a child’s health largely depends on what, when and how he eats. And they sound the alarm if a child refuses to eat, suspecting diseases and pathologies. But the causes of food deviations are often not at all in them, but in the strongest psychological discomfort that children experience sometimes due to the fault of dads and moms.
Many parents are convinced that their child eats without appetite due to the fact that he does not like the taste of food. However, the reasons may lie much deeper, the teacher-psychologist Alexandra Pavlova is sure.
Reasons for failure
Sometimes children’s interest in food is lost due to the influence of their parents. Those themselves consciously or unconsciously deprive the child of appetite.
- The parents believe that he is not eating enough and begin to force feed. Then any meal turns into torment for the child.
- The child is forced to eat whatever is left on the plate. At the same time, they do not take into account that he is already full.
- The child is punished by deprivation of food or, on the contrary, as punishment, forced to eat what the parents see fit.
- The family has developed a cult of food. The child feels that nutritional issues are always put ahead of his needs and requirements.
- Food does not meet the needs of the child’s body: fresh or, conversely, too salty or spicy. It is easier for him to refuse a dish than to eat something that is disgusting.
- Sometimes, refusing to eat, the child protests against what he is forced and forced to do. For example, he doesn’t want to go to a club that his mother really likes. But he cannot openly admit this.
This parenting behavior can lead to a severe eating disorder in the child. Therefore, it is necessary to quickly establish the cause of the mental discomfort and eliminate it as soon as possible.
Correct eating habits
To help your child have the right ideas about how to eat, show him an example:
- adhere to the daily routine, alternate physical activity, rest and breaks for meals;
- exclude unhealthy foods and fast food from your diet;
- create a comfortable atmosphere while eating: conflicts and unpleasant news are better left for later;
- tell your child what nutrients are in food and how they strengthen his health;
- refuse to watch TV while eating – it interferes with assessing the quantity and quality of food eaten;
- Have healthy appetite-boosting snacks between meals;
- do not punish your child for not finishing his portion.
The child should feel that he is loved, no matter how much he eats. And you can always “work up” a good appetite by playing on the playground, running in the park, or just walking with mom or dad along the boulevard. It is important that the child has the correct eating habits from an early age. But a high-quality diet is not enough for this.
Children need to feel the love and care of their parents. When the family has a comfortable psychological climate, the child’s food problems are solved much faster. Feel free to show him that you love him. This will increase your chances of avoiding eating disorders at any age.
about the author
Alexandra Pavlova – Director of the elementary school “Give Good to Children”, teacher-psychologist of the highest category. More on…