“It is really strange Doctor – but my child is just not interested in eating. He / she can go for a whole day without asking for food”
In my Practice as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant - I have heard this often from Parents.
Have you – by some chance - been one of the parents who said this?
If you are – I would like to ask you to listen to yourself again.
Read the complaint again and pick out the Key words.
Would you say that the key word there is “INTERESTED”?
I would definitely say that.
So my response to that would be – “If your child is not interested in Food – try and make food and his/her meals INTERESTING,”
If you think of a meal from the point of view of your child you would realise why it is BORING.
From the child’s point of view – eating involves chewing and swallowing – for at least half an hour to forty five minutes (maybe longer if the child is not interested) four to six times a day!
Not an activity to look forward to in any way!
If you want to interest your child in eating – turn – BORING into INTERESTING.
Make food interesting by adding an element of FUN.
Concoct FUN - it is really not that difficult.
For example - have an assortment of interesting shaped plates and glasses at hand.
Make meals exciting by allowing your child to imagine which veggie would like to be eaten from which plate. Then - sometimes be good and let the veggie be eaten from the plate it likes. At other times be naughty and put it on a plate the veggie doesn’t like - and eat it up quickly before it knows what you have done.
Or - decide which plate is to be used on which day of the week and then say – “OK let us be naughty today – and pretend its Saturday by using the Saturday plate on Wednesday. And let’s eat up all the veggies really quickly before they realise what we have been up to”
There are a million games like this that you can think up with a little bit of imagination.
These teeny tiny actions – that could be meaningless to you as an adult – would usually mean the world to your child.
Being silly and naughty could add that much needed element of excitement to an otherwise boring activity and get your child INTERESTED in Food.
Make mealtimes memorable by garnishing every meal with FUN.
Also, basic things can be kept in mind like letting a child eat when he is hungry, serving the food at the same time daily and making the food appealing for kids.