| July 6th, 2006

Feeding Battles: No one wins

Imagine a day you are not having a good appetite, two people hold you tight and put a spoonful of your not-so-favorite food in your mouth, and they continue this for half an hour!

Sounds ridiculous, right? Replace yourself with an 18 month old toddler and  those two people by her parents. Now you can see a more familiar scene. The parents are feeding their child!

Force feeding has become a very common scene in many houses these days. My child doesn’t eat is the most common complain moms have. Is it really the case? Just think your child is a human being like you are, her body needs food and fluid to operate. It may vary how much or how frequently they need food, but the truth is no child will starve themselves. Experts say,

Continually offering a food after it has been refused or engaging in elaborate games to encourage feeding is seldom a successful method of ensuring appropriate dietary intake in the long run.

I have found resources that endorse,

forcing your children to eat when they aren’t hungry can lead to feeding problems and even eating disorders in the future. Also rewards and bribes around issues of food are ultimately not in the interest of developing long-term healthy attitudes toward food.

Things we can do are:Â
-Let the child to do enough of physical activites
-Follow a consistent routine
-Cut off too much of snacking in between. When thirsty offer water instead of juice.
-Bring variety in food selection
-Have meal together with our children
-Keep in mind that not everyday people have the same appetite

If interested please check out these resources:
Family Education
University of Washington Research


No Responses to “Feeding Battles: No one wins”

  1. Oneza says:

    Good points Sharmin!
    The other thing parents should be careful about is creating a healthy eating habit for their kids at an early stage. Childhood obesity is often associated with eating junkfood, which usually becomes more dangerous when kids grow up.

  2. Ishret says:

    Very true Sharmin! Good recommendations.

    It is very important to establish a family meal time. Kids eat better when they are eating with others. They can also learn how to follow rules and manners at the same time. Kids who go to day cares are used to eat with other kids and they do fine there. Sometimes those same kids do not want to eat nicely at home. Including them in the family dinner time may solve that problem to some degree.


  3. Sharmin says:

    Thanks Oneza and Ishret for your valuable comments.

    Wanted to add some more recommendations:

    – Don’t feed the child while (s)he is running around. Make them sit during mealtime. If they know you will follow them with food they will never want to sit.

    -Don’t linger mealtime more than say 20-30 mins. Even if they don’t eat enough. (S)he can catch up in the next meal.

    -Encourage them to eat by themselves. This may sound carzy to us but I have seen in the daycares all the one year olds eat by themselves (with adult supervision of course). They will make mess but this is how they learn.


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