Most parents are conscious about feeding their kids, especially a healthy portion that is best for their growth. For that, they go for the clean the plate rule, they are worried about whether their child has finished his meal or not or has taken enough portions.
In the worry, they force kids to eat much, which can lead to negative consequences. Instead of an enjoyable time, feeding time for parents is challenging mostly. Parents have to play tricks like “if you finish your food, I will take you to the park” or sometimes promises and rewards in return for eating one more bite. This is force feeding, that parents carry to their child’s school and expect their staff and daycares to do the same. Most parents do not know that force feeding is prohibited in accredited daycare centers, and due to this misunderstanding, parents sometimes give negative feedback or can create negative relationships with the staff.
Parents must know that forcing anyone, especially children for doing something is not going to help. Eating food can create disliking towards food and feeding time. Even it can stop a child to respond to the internal signals of hunger that his body sends to his mind, and sometimes the signals of fulness while eating food. As a result, it can create eating disorders like heartburn, stomach aches, and obesity.
Parents must also consider that:
- Not to be worried about the food being wasted that you prepared for your child, giving it away or adding a bit of spice or ingredients can make it consumable.
- Do not prepare a huge portion for your child, as every child has different eating habits and nutritional needs. Too much food doesn’t develop a healthy child.
- Do not add a huge portion of carbs in every meal, every day, although kids may like it try to include a variety of food that your child likes.
Force feeding can be harmful in different ways, few of the associated consequences can be:
- Disliking food and mealtime
- Appetite is undermined and responses to hunger and fullness are weakened.
- Experimenting with different foods and force feeding them even if the child likes it will only create a negative association with that food.
- Large food portions can cause eating disorders and digestive problems.
Dear parents! We should remember that we all have a perfect system that tells us when to eat or drink and when to stop it. So, we cannot change the system in our bodies, as far as the habits are concerned, eating is not a habit but a need to keep our body fit and healthy. If your child denies eating too much food, do not compare him to other children and do not take it as a battle.
Your child signals you of hunger and other needs, to make mealtime simple and enjoyable, keep track of his mealtimes and portions as well as favorite foods. This way you can track eating patterns, it can also be irregular but do not worry, you can offer food later. Prepare a suitable portion, the best fit is, the palm-size portion (of a child) of each food like a palm-size portion of vegetables with a palm-size portion of boiled rice.
Last but not least, do not use gadgets at mealtimes, alternatively, teach them table manners and etiquette. Make mealtime interactive your child will soon adapt to a good mealtime routine.