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Reasons Why Children Don’t Eat

By Shabana Khachi

You came across this interesting recipe which is healthy and tasty and are sure that your kiddo will devour it the moment you present it on the table. You spend hours in the kitchen preparing the dish and some more time in presentation.

You anxiously wait for your kid to come home and to your dismay, he/she completely refuses to eat even without seeing the food. How often do we mums come across this scenario?

Being as disappointed as it is, the fact that kids are such fussy eaters is a big cause of our concern. No matter how hard we try, kids just refuse to eat.

This makes us worry about the amount of nutrients that they should be getting in order to grow properly and other things associated with improper nutrition.

Our kids are our world. We adore them for every little thing they do. Seeing them growing up to learn new things and being independent brings pride on our faces. But the fact that they are fussy eaters, keeps us worried.

When children refuse to eat, mothers often try to coax them into eating in different ways. We resort to things like threatening, scolding and even banning them from play time or refusing to give them treats.

But kids can be quite adamant and can give us a tough time. Instead of getting all angry and frustrated, we need to understand why kids behave this way.

There are many reasons for children not eating. Some things to consider from us as parents are:

- Is there a sufficient gap between your kid's mealtimes?

- Is the food prepared according to your child's taste buds?

- Is your child in the habit of snacking before meals?

- Is your child active and energetic and getting enough physical exercise?

In case if the answer is no, then you probably need to fix it.

- Ensure that your kid's meal times are properly scheduled and should have at least 3-4 hours gap between each meals.

- Also, make sure that the food prepared is exciting for your child's taste buds.

- You are to completely avoid giving snacks at least half an hour before meals, as this kills the appetite.

- If your child is not energetic or active, he/she may not feel hungry during mealtimes at all.

In case your child refuses to eat even after taking into consideration the above points, there may be some reasons behind it. It is important for mothers to take note of these points and understand the real reason of the child not eating, instead of force feeding them.

Here are a few reasons why children refuse to eat.

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1) Your Child May Have Sensitive Taste Buds:

Some kids are born with more taste buds on the surface of their tongue. This makes them super sensitive to taste and will refuse to eat food, which may not taste perfect.

2) Your Child Is Distracted:

It is of common habit that kids eat while watching T.V. or mobile videos. This spoils their appetite and also disrupts their mind to prevent mindful eating.

3) Irregular Bowel Movements:

If your child has an irregular bowel movement or is having difficulty is passing motions, it will immediately withdraw him from eating. This common connection between their eating habits and bowels is often skipped by the parents. Trying to regularize their bowels will immediately bring their appetite back in such cases.

4) Too Many Choices:

If you are giving your child varied food and too many choices, it is time to cut back on them. Children get confused and reject the food all together in such cases. Give them an option to the carbs (rice or roti) and they would like to eat along with the veggie you have prepared.

5) Health Issues Or Illness:

If your child has recently recovered from an illness, they may find the food to be bland in taste. In such cases, it is important to give kids time to recover fully and taste food normally again. Forcing them to eat will have a negative impact on them.

6) Disliking Of Certain Texture:

Small things matter a lot to kids. There are a lot of kids who are so fussy when it comes to textures that they refuse to eat for days together and mothers try hard to find a reason behind it. If your kid likes the rice a bit soft, make sure to prepare it exactly like that. If they like soft and thin chapatis with ghee, put extra efforts into making it just like that. When you respect their choices, they will not disappoint you.

7) Food Allergies:

Certain food allergies may prevent he kids to eat certain kinds of food. Your kid may have allergies without you realising it. If your child is consistently refusing a kind of food, try to find out if he/she is developing problems after having it or talk to them as to why they are refusing to eat.

8) Environment At Home:

Do you give separate food for your kid while the family members have another kind of food? Chances are, your child has gotten fed up of the "baby food" that you are feeding them. Try to include your child at the dinner. If the family members eat spicy food which you are afraid may not suit your kid, try to make a separate, less spicy portion of the same food for your kid and see them devouring it without much of your efforts.

Read more about: kids eating
Story first published: Sunday, February 18, 2018, 14:00 [IST]
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