5 Reasons Why Your Children Refuse to Eat
Facing mealtime can become a real ordeal for parents of children who do not want to eat and lack interest in or reject food. Many of them do not know how to deal with this situation: should we force them, distract them, bribe them with promises and gifts, let them eat when and what they want?
The first thing to understand is that all children are different, and the fact that your child does not eat or eats different amounts of food is not always a sign that something is wrong. Some only eat what they like, and some eat what they need.
However, some illnesses affect children’s appetite. To help your child, you must first identify what may be going on. Here are some possible causes why your child may be refusing to eat
Reasons Why Your Child Doesn't Want to Eat
- Presence of an illness
Some illnesses involving an infection, such as a cold, gastroenteritis, tonsillitis, or otitis, may cause the child not to eat. This is usually a temporary loss of appetite, which returns to normal when the child recovers.
Some symptoms of these diseases are fever, diarrhea, vomiting, belly pain, or cough.
- Changes In Their Routine
Children are very susceptible and sense changes in their environment. And while some children are affected more than others, loss of appetite may indicate them not being comfortable with the changes. This may last until they adapt to their new routine.
- Unrealistic Expectations
Expecting your child to eat the same as other children is unfair to them. We go back to the premise that all children are different: they like different foods and fill up on different amounts, which does not mean that their development or growth is not within normal parameters.
A dietary record of what your child eats will help you know if they are getting the nutrients they need and help you adjust expectations to what fills them up and keeps them healthy.
- A Normal Growth Phase
A child’s growth from 1 to 5 years of age is slower than from 0 months to 1 year. Therefore, at the age of 1 year, the child’s appetite is regulated, as it does not need as much food to grow as before.
This appetite regulation is often experienced by many parents when the child stops eating or does not eat as much as before. Do not worry, it is entirely physiological. Typically, what they eat is what they need.
- Excess of caloric foods
Some foods such as cookies, milk, or sweets have high levels of calories, giving the effect of satiety in children.
Avoid these unhealthy and low nutritional quality foods that falsely satisfy your children. Thus, make sure that fruits and vegetables (or other nutrient-rich foods) are not crowded out.
All children have different habits and tastes. Try to understand where your child’s reasons are coming from and work with a specialist to ensure they are healthy, no matter how much they eat. Children learn from adults, so make sure you have a healthy relationship with food that they can imitate.