Baby Eating Habits ? Which Approach Do You Take
One of the first decisions we make is if we breast feed or bottle feed our baby. This will be an emotional topic which ever option you choose. Nutrition is not just about preparing and serving food its much more complex and our own childhood experiences will have a great influence on this. Most parents will feel that the more their child eats the better. They feel that this is a reflection on their parenting and the more the child eats the more successful the parent. A child whose diet consists of dry cereal and juice will leave their parent feeling frustrated and embaressed, these emotions will not go unnoticed by the child and will have a knock on effect. In the case of a faddy eater this may cause the situation to get worse.
Faddy eating is a normal stage in your childs development. A basic fact is that most children will go through a stage of faddy eating. This usually occurs during the toddler years when they go through a stage of being a bit obsessive about most things in their life. Most children go through an obsessive stage when they will only wear clothes of a ertain color or they will only eat one type of food. This is a very normal stage and will soon pass as long as the parent does not fall into the trap of focusing too much on the problem.
The best approach to faddy eating is to stay calm, the chances of your child starving to death is very slim. As long as the child is drinking a lot of fluids and eating some food during the day he should be okay. Make sure that your child is getting the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals, you can do this by putting a vitamin and mineral supplement into his drink, your local pharmasist can recommed one to suit your child. Most children will grow out of this phase, and for those who continue the high stress level of a parent will not help with the situation.
All experts advise to keep all stress and arguments over food to a minimum. The more you focus on this the more you are aggravating the problem. Keep calm and tackle the situation clearly. Some practical tips to help you through this phase are:
It is advisable for toddlers to drink one pint of milk per day. Measure up a pint glass of milk and leave this in the refriderator to be drawn from through out the day. A child should not drink more than this as they will fill up on milk leaving no room in the tummy for solid foods through out the day.
At meal times don't give your child a drink until they are finished their meal as the fluids will give the sensation of being full and they will eat less food. This should encourage them to eat whats on their plate.
The changing of a childs eating pattern will not happen over night. This will take some time and patents. Expect to make gradual progress with this phase.
Your child doesn't have to get all its necessary food requirements at meal times. If your child refuses to sit down to a plate of food don't worry too much. A child can get all his food requirements from small nutritious snacks at regular intervals throughout the day. If your child accepts healthy snacks then these will help provide the range of nutrients they need.
Don't take your childs eating habits personally. Sometimes a parent will get upset if their child is eating at crèche or at another parents house. This is not a reflection on you or your cooking. Sometimes a child will eat when they see another child eating, they wil imitate their peers.
If you are concerned about the effects these eating habits are having on your childs health, don't hesitate to seek the advice of your doctor. As before it maybe that your child will require a supplement during this period to provide some of the nutrients they are currenty missing out on. All supplements are not the same so make sure to get advice from your pharmacist or family doctor.
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