NOT WANTING TO EAT IS A BIGGER PROBLEM THAN YOU THINK
It’s a universally accepted fact that most kids are difficult when it comes to eating enough, eating right, or even being interested in eating their meals. If this sounds like your kids too, don’t worry, it’s quite common. An estimated 25% of normally developing children globally have feeding problems.
The causes of this aren’t always limited to them being stubborn. Based on several studies, feeding problems can be rooted back to one of three brackets.
Limited appetite: When kids say I’m full after having barely touched their plate.
- This can be caused due to their appetites being easily satiated, or because of their disinterest in mealtime, resulting in them being easily distracted.
- If the kids have fallen ill regularly in the past, they are more likely to showcase a limited appetite when presented with food that they associate with the times they were sick. Making it seem like those specific dishes make them nauseous. The reality is that it’s the memory associated with those types of foods that make them feel queasy.
- Toddlers play off the reactions and attention they get from the caregiver. So, chances are that their lack of interest in eating could come from you not being involved enough in their mealtime routine.
Highly selective intake: When kids are extremely picky about what they’re willing to eat.
- Sometimes it’s the taste, sometimes the smell, the appearance or even the texture of the ingredients used to prepare the dishes. It’s not just your kids being difficult. Picky eating is a legitimate behavioural attribute that millions of kids around the world have.
Fear of feeding: Commonly seem as resistant to not just certain types of food, but to the idea of eating itself.
- Do your kids cry every time they’re presented with a plate of food? Or do they seem unusually aggressive when it comes to resisting meals? Perhaps the cause goes deeper than the common saying “kids will be kids”. Think back. Was there ever a traumatic experience that occurred during a meal in the past? If so, then it’s possible that the association with that incident has led to them being averse to the idea of mealtime itself.
Feeding problems sure do make life difficult for you, don’t they? When it comes to your kids, such behaviour could lead to impaired growth as a result of insufficient nutritional intake.
The potential health risks might not be clearly visible immediately, but as the kids grow older, they become more apparent.
Growth Faltering: Stunted growth which is characterised as a lack of height and poor bone health.
Weight: Issues with weight could start as lack of the required weight gain, and eventually increase the risk of obesity due to the inability of the child’s body to break down the intake.
Immunity: Lower nutritional intake leads to higher risk of serious illnesses. At that young age, even a high fever can snowball into something bigger.
Cognition: The biggest impact of nutritional deficiencies, and one that only becomes apparent at a later stage, is poorer brain function. Leading to difficulty in learning things that kids of that age should have no problems grasping.