Ten keys to stimulate or develop your child’s appetite
Ten keys to stimulate or develop your child’s appetite. Appetite is a quality that must develop in every person since childhood. You must favor their self-regulation.
Then I will present ten keys that can help you understand the meaning of children’s appetite and how you can favor the autonomy of your child, without any worry. Rather you will be proud of the autonomy and control of your little one.
1.- The normal weight is not an average weight, but that related to the size of the child and the constitution of his parents. There are types of thin, medium and strong people, all being normal variants.
The constitution cannot be chosen, it has been given to us genetically. Each child has a different appetite, just like a character or a personality, and often resembles one of his relatives.
A very controlling or demanding behavior of the parents prevents the child from developing an essential autonomy.
2.- The size of the child’s stomach can be 10 times smaller than that of his parents , as well as his weight and his size.
It is important to assess these proportions before offering food. The child is prepared, like all mammals, to automatically know how much food he needs.
3.- We must rely on innate wisdom. From the year on, a weight of about 200 gr / month is increased, less than what a glass of water weighs and therefore frequent weighing does not proceed, since it is very conditioned by food and bowel movements.
If weighed the meal for a full day, it is likely to exceed 500-1000 gr, of which most will go to energy. Only 7 gr will be used for the child’s growth (less than what a spoonful weighs).
We do not have to calculate anything, nor weigh it frequently, nor do we have to compare it with anyone, we must rely on its innate ability.
4.- During colds and banal infections, you will lose your appetite for a few days. This is normal, since the body will prioritize the defensive system and use all its forces to fight the infection.
The precise digestion of a lot of energy and cannot be entertained in momentarily secondary things.
The idea that if you eat less will be defended worse is wrong. By the time the infection is controlled, he will return to his normal appetite and regain his weight in a short time. (see link )
5.- We must favor autonomy in food. As soon as possible, children should be allowed to eat alone. From 6-8 months is a good time to teach to try solid foods. (See Food from 6 months)
They like to take what they see their elders take; We must take advantage of this circumstance, so that they try foods suitable for their age. They can take soft foods like bread and fruit, which will teach them to chew first and then to swallow. (Baby leed weaning)
This process should be monitored by the parents, until they verify that they are not choking. As soon as they learn, they no longer have to be watched. You should not delay learning to chew and swallow too much, because then you will have difficulties and only drink liquids and purees.
6.- One of the most important functions of parents is to make a healthy and varied menu , suitable for their age.
The child is the one who must learn to meet his needs and calculate what he needs.
We must not interfere with your appetite, in order to develop your capacity for self-control, without worrying about the temporary rejections that may arise.
7.- Parents must establish rules of conduct at the table , such as hand hygiene, place of food, time allocated for each dish, not getting up from the table until the end of the meal, etc.
8.- The amount of food to take belongs to the child. The day you do not want to eat, or you have no appetite because you ate too much the previous time or it is indicating that there is some problem of empacho or inadequacy of the diet you are taking. (If this problem persists we should make a nutritional report )
This autonomy from an early age will favor the proper functioning of the Hunger-Satiety system.
The child will know how to recognize when he is hungry and will eat with great satisfaction, and will also know how to stop when his body asks.
If the child refuses to eat the food that has been prepared, most naturally, it will be removed from the table, and no food will be given until the next meal (except water).
If the reason for the rejection was to test the reaction of their parents, by not obtaining benefit, probably in a matter of days, they will not repeat this type of “reactive rebellion.” ( Eating well is simpler than you imagine )
. 9.- At the table you must create a pleasant atmosphere, you must talk with the child, it is time to expose the things that matter to us.
In the Mediterranean area, time to eat is not just the time to feed, it is also the time to meet with family members and enjoy the conversation.
Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. They are strategies that can damage the capacity for self-control and favor the desire for junk foods (ice cream, candy, worms, etc.).
10.- If the lack of appetite is longer than expected, it will be discussed in the consultation with the pediatrician. If the situation requires it, some tests will be performed to determine if there is an organic cause that affects the child’s appetite.
A nutritional report will be made . We have observed that one of the causes for which children do not eat well, is due to the abandonment of the Traditional Mediterranean Diet, that is, the type of food that is supposed to be more adapted to the human beings of our area.
The appearance of new industrial foods, and the excess of those of animal origin, has caused the inadequacy of the digestive system and the alteration of the intestinal flora.
The lack of appetite could be due to the lack of quality of certain foods, which produce an abnormal hormonal regulation, enzymatic blockage, low-grade inflammation and the consequent feeling of impasse.
We should follow a nutritional education program that we have called “Learning to eat from the Mediterranean”, but that any nutritionist with a child dedication could explain.
A program aimed at children with nutritional problems such as lack of appetite, in order to redirect eating habits in the right direction, and promote the recovery of the Hunger-Satiety system.