Parents make some common mistakes that could actually hurt their children's mental and physical health in the long term. Lack of appetite and eating disorders are seen in 40 percent of children at about a year old. Rather than displaying repressive attitudes about loss of appetite, which is one of the leading complaints of parents, it is necessary to stay calm. Assistant professor Dr. Emre Çenesiz explained the five most common mistakes parents make and what they should do in this regard.
1. Forcibly feeding a child who does not want to eat
If your child does not like eating too much and does not eat much in your opinion, don't force them. If they do not have any health problems, stop insisting. You should let them make their own choices and allow them to eat when they are hungry. If you leave them to be, they will find their own way of eating after a while. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to think that the child has not eaten enough.
An important point that parents should know about feeling full is that it takes place after 20 minutes of taking the first bite. Children who are struggling to eat may not know when to say yes or no when they get older, which may lead to an eating disorder that goes as far as obesity. For this, let them eat when they are hungry and let them set the time and amount themselves. Also remember that a meal must be eaten at the table.
2. Using snacks or a favorite dish as a reward
Food is not always a good reward when children behave. This is a behavior that will affect the child's nutritional character. This is one of the reasons for the increase in malnourishment that begins in children today. Of course, sometimes you can reward them with their favorite dishes, but it should not always be that way. If this behavior continues, your children will think that they should do just that for a bar of chocolate or a cup of ice cream. If you want discipline, your children must be aware that they have to comply with some rules. The award strengthens the child's ability to acquire good habits, but this should not always be food.
3. Mixing new foods all in the same time
You should start giving new foods to your children one by one, taking into account how they will react. It is difficult for them to consume more than one food at a time, so it will be beneficial to spread it in time. There may be foods that children do not like as much as adults do, and you should respect their tastes. It is enough for your children to eat some of the basic food groups. For example, if they do not eat cheese, they can consume milk and yogurt instead. Have them try the foods that they do not like once in a while, do not insist if they do not consume and try other equivalents of that food. There are absolutely other alternatives for every food. If you are insistent, the child may react more strongly to that food and completely reject it.
4. Depriving children of all sweets
While the whole world is focused on the problem of obesity in children, it is no surprise that some parents ban all sweets, but this can have an adverse effect. In order for children to have healthy relationships with food (including desserts), it is necessary to meet somewhere in the middle. When children's eating habits are restricted, their desire to eat them increases and they want more food at every opportunity. You can prevent them from doing wrong by limiting their sweet amounts and controlling their consumption levels. Give your children the freedom of choice to control them reasonably.
5. Starting a diet immediately after gaining weight
The cause of excess weight in children is inactivity and excessive calorie consumption if there they have no deeper health problems. When children consume the nutrients they need to eat in the required amount and add some activity to their lives, weight gain will stop. It is not healthy for a child who is already undergoing development to be weakened by a limited diet. The first goal is to stop them from gaining weight. When the food that causes unnecessary calories is removed from the child's diet, the difference in the body becomes visible and body weight comes to normal limits with height extension. With too much carbohydrate restriction, totally fat-free and incomplete nutrition, the child's development and height extension may slow down, while hormonal problems or even some diseases caused by missing vitamins and minerals may occur.