My child is a finicky eater. In my professional existence as an educator and as an educational consultant, one theme that has come up often is: CHILDREN AND FOOD!
My conversations with parents who believed that their child should consume more calories or who believed that their child was “picky” have been numerous.It is common to hear statements such as “He only wants to eat macaroni screws with ketchup” or “The only meat my youngster will put his teeth into are fish cakes.”
Please Provide Us With a “Fast Remedy.”
Many parents find their child’s food intake – or lack thereof – to be one of the most irritating and troubling aspects of their child’s development, and they expect that I can provide them with a “fast fix” to the problem. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a quick fix for everything.
Behind every complaint, there lies a yearning to be fulfilled.
When a child refuses food, he or she is frequently communicating with us about something else he or she wants to obtain or achieve – something that he or she requires in order to grow and develop.
It is not always easy to figure out what is going on, but we cannot respond appropriately to the child’s behavior until we understand the message he or she is trying to convey. However, this does not rule out the possibility of providing “excellent advise” right away. For starters, there is a general rule that applies to this situation, which is as follows:
KEEP YOUR TEMPERAMENT IN CHECK!
Unless your youngster appears to be slack, sleepy, and uninterested, and/or is noticeably underweight! Discovering his own inner detective Meanwhile, while you’re taking it easy, get some investigative work completed. There can be a variety of reasons for your child to put down his or her knife and fork, and as I previously stated, some of them have nothing to do with the meal or its taste.
In most cases, the young child is powerless in his or her interactions with his or her grownups.
However, the youngster rapidly acquires some hands-on experience with what is most likely attracting the attention of its parents – because the child possesses considerable authority in that particular area. In particular, one of these domains is the culinary arts. We have the ability to prepare it, serve it, and move forward. The child, on the other hand, is the one who ultimately determines what will be placed in his or her mouth. So the food can serve as a medium for the child to communicate with us, and we then have the wonderful challenge of discovering what it is that the child is carrying on his or her heart.
Observation, Consideration, and Action
Use the following structure from TRIVSELSPILEN (which is a reflection and action tool that I designed) in this situation:
- Examine your child’s overall health and activity level, as well as his or her general well-being.
- Examine your child’s surroundings/environment, taking into consideration siblings, daycare, you, your partner, etc…. Their suppers.
- In diverse environments / in different scenarios with different individuals, pay attention to the child’s behavior and interactions.
Why is it that my child does not want to eat when he or she is sick? What characteristics of my child’s well-being and behavior in general can provide me with clues as to what my child is saying me about his or her well-being when he or she does not want to eat?
What – in terms of the environment and living situations that my child is currently experiencing – provides me with clues as to what is behind a refusal to accept food?
The following are some examples of what we believe she would tell us in response to my (and possibly the other child’s other parent’s / other close adults’) observations and reflections:
- that she is most ravenous first thing in the morning
- That she’s too exhausted to go out to dinner.
- That she becomes bored throughout the dinner because we are conversing with one another
- That she is tense because we are so preoccupied with what she eats and how much she consumes
- That she is dealing with real-world problems in her life and that she requires assistance in overcoming this
As a Result, We’ll Do Things Like:
Ensure that she has a nutritious breakfast and lunch, and then be a little indifferent to what she has for the evening.
Prepare dinner an hour in advance.
Give her your full attention in respect to whatever she is obsessed with, rather than in reference to her dish.
As a result, we operate in response to the current issues
Follow-up and evaluation are essential.
For example, we might do it for the following two weeks and then talk about it / reflect on it together again.