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Why is my little one not eating?

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Happiness undoubtedly is a well fed baby.

So when a baby doesn’t eat, mummy goes into a spin.

Well, over time, I’ve realised that baby’s don’t eat well every day. They are little people who  like real people want to try out something different every once in a while. After all don’t we get bored of the same daal chawal day in and day out?

So does that mean that we have to be super chefs ?

Not at all! All that it requires is a little bit of imagination. And luckily the changing weather helps – vegetable soups are great for cold days and a great way to make a child have more fluid as well as vegetables. Similarly, on hot days you could experiment with yoghurt based foods like curd rice, dahi wada or raita.

Making food time fun can be quite difficult especially if baby’s idea of fun is to fling food, squish it, spit it or even throw around the forks and spoons. Naturally such a routine every day is tiring and hard on one’s patience even though all the baby psychologists say that babies should be allowed to explore. However, encouraging playful explorations at the dining table are not desirable especially at another’s table. So while babies should be encouraged to explore, it should be done judiciously.

What is the alternative then?

Force feeding? Never. Sitting the child in front of the tv while you shovel food into him is a terrible way to introduce children to eating. Eating should be a pleasurable activity and will only become one if it is relaxed and stress free.

The basic thing to remember is that  children eat when they are really hungry. Try and avoid feeding the child constantly between meal times and you will immediately notice his “appetite ” increasing. 

Don’t stress about too much discipline- indulge the child a bit and reach out to the child within you. Do laugh hysterically with him when he flings the sauce on the wall even though your natural impulse would be to yell your displeasure!

Children don’t eat for a variety of reasons :

– the food is different and the taste is something that doesn’t appeal to him

– the weather is too hot

– he is coming down with something

Do not fret and worry about a child not eating. He loves seeing you stressed out. Don’t make the mistake of offering different alternatives. That only confuses him. He should get used to eating whatever is in front of him and if he is hungry, will definitely eat it!

Remember children are unpredictable and what he likes today can very well be spat out tomorrow.

So be cool and don’t worry abut why your child is not eating.

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