When children eat little or eat poorly, it is an ordeal for parents. It is a constant concern when they do not want to eat because we are concerned that they may be lacking some nutrient or vitamin and that they may get sick. In this sense, it is important for parents to understand that it is better for them to be in charge of the quality of food, and children should choose the amount they want to eat. Especially when they are little.
Don’t force him to eat more than he wants
It’s never a good idea to force children to eat more than they’re hungry, and it’s even worse to force them to eat when they don’t feel like it anymore. If you force or create a bad eating environment for your children, then it is more than likely that they have a bad relationship with food.
You may remember how your parents told you they forced you to eat everything they put on your plate even if you weren’t hungry anymore, just because that way you could be stronger and healthier. Actually this, as we have mentioned above, is not a good idea. The belief that children should eat large plates of food (when they are no longer hungry) is a common mistake that many parents still make today. It is necessary to eradicate this bad way of acting for the good of children, and of ourselves!
Parents get very upset when children do not want to eat more and usually they want finish the plate. And children have a hard time and end up having a bad relationship with food that can lead to emotional problems or eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.
Division of responsibilities
Ideally, that the children choose the amount of food they want to eat and the parents the quality of the food. In this sense, parents should be responsible for:
- Choosing the quality of the food they are going to give their children: proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy oils and dairy products.
- Establish eating routines such as breakfast, lunch and dinner times.
- Have an established place for breakfast, lunch and dinner that is always the same, such as the kitchen or dining table. dining room.
On the other hand, the children will have the responsibility to:
- Decide whether to try or not the food.
- Decide whether or not to eat the food.
- Decide how much food to eat at each meal.
Children determine how much food they will eat each day. They know when they are full or when they don’t want to eat anymore. Never under any circumstances is it a good idea to force them as this will lead to a poor relationship with food in both the short and long term.
Children are connected to their sensations and know perfectly when they want to continue eating more and when it is time to stop. By being connected to their body and listening to it, they are able to make these decisions. Something that, for example, adults are not so capable of achieving. On many occasions, adults eat without hunger, out of greed, boredom or sadness.
This does not happen to children, they know how to control the right amount of food what they should take In addition, children are able to know what food they need at any given time: more fruit or more meat, for example. It is important to allow them to explore their needs.
Respect your children
In this sense, you need to respect your children’s decisions regarding their diet . It encourages the connection with your body, since in many cases we adults have lost it and have grown up with phrases such as: “If you don’t finish it all, you don’t get up from the table” or “If you don’t finish it all: you don’t you go out/you don’t have dessert/you will be grounded”, etc. Some phrases that undoubtedly disrespected us and forced us to have a bad relationship with food.
It is your responsibility to be aware that your children must learn to have a good relationship with food and that the moment of eating is not a continuous conflict. Avoid stress at all costs at mealtime so that you can all live together and enjoy each other and the food you eat.
Your children need to eat less than you, just look at how much they eat to get an idea of how much they need. For example, perhaps a 2-year-old child with two tablespoons of rice, two of meat and two of yogurt will be satiated. The amount of food you need is less than you think and that does not mean you are not eating well, you are eating what your body needs.
Keep in mind Keep in mind that there will be days that they eat more and days that your children eat less. This is normal. Remember that you have a certain connection with your body and that you have to respect it. Only if you think that he is having nutritional problems due to a poor diet, then take him to the pediatrician so that he can guide you regarding a good diet.