I have seen many mothers of toddlers who worry about children not eating food. Some threaten their kids to eat, some beg, some scold, some whine, some use technology to keep them distracted so that they can feed while they are distracted. I never understood why mothers are crazy about feeding their kids until I had my children.
When my elder one reached 1.5 years old, I understood the real problem. I too panicked like other moms running behind my toddler and spending time for hours and hours to feed something. But, I always thought there should be some reason/logic behind this.
Why toddlers are not interested in eating?
Won’t they feel hungry, tired and weak after playing for so many hours? Are they simply enjoying the attention of their mother running behind them? I got some answers when I could manage my second child’s feeding habits.
There might be many reasons why kids enjoy playing, running and focus less on eating. But, these are Top 5 Reasons why Toddlers are not interested in Food that I found out:
This is the top most reason if a child is not eating properly. If they are constipated, they won’t feel hungry. Making them drink more water, including fiber rich diet and giving more fruits will solve this problem. Never think that you can replace water with any other liquid. Even though you give fruit juices, minimum water intake is important. I suggest all parents to introduce all types of fruits to the kids before they reach 1 year of their age. That way, there is a high possibility that they like more varieties of fruits. Banana is a saviour for constipation. Prune juice is effective for the severe cases and visiting a doctor is the best option if constipation is constant.
More focus on exploring
Toddlers start exploring everything around them. It is a new world for them with many surprises. Their focus is more on observing everyone around, playing, touching things, sensing and constantly learning new things. Even though they feel hungry, they are involved in playing for hours and hours and they don’t know that they get tired if they don’t eat at regular intervals. Thus, it is our duty to set times and explain them that food gives energy to explore and to learn more.
Not getting tired enough
This phrase might look confusing to you, but if kids are pampered whole day sitting at one place and eating all junk, they will not interested in taking main meals. They need to play, get tired and get hungry to eat well. I saw a large difference when I took my kids to park and I fed them dinner after returning. When they are physically tired after playing/cycling, they eat without any fuss and do it quickly too. It is such a relief, you know? Try taking them to play outside or with friends before main meals. You will notice a difference.
Disinterest in food
Many parents know this reason and arrange meals in a pleasant way. Some use kids’ favorite plates, some cook their favorite vegetables, some put smilies on dosas, a few make pancakes in the shape of car and trains. Be creative, try different tasty varieties, involve them while cooking a meal by explaining how a meal is made and let them sense the taste. Let them think about what they like about food-more salt, sweet, juicy, thick, cheesy, etc.One reason why kids hate food is that they were not introduced to that food at an early age. It is fine if kids hate some specific foods, but we have to ensure that they eat healthy food too. If a kid hates capsicum, but loves pasta, he might like capsicum in pasta. No harm in trying. Also, let them try to eat with their hands/with spoon so that they will have more interest. Of course, I know that there will be a lot of mess to cleanup later.
Meal time not enjoyable
It is very important to set meal times and stick to them. It is always good to complete feeding their meal within 30 mins and if they fuss about eating completely, we can leave for some time and try again. If we spend too much time feeding them, they get habituated to that. Since we mothers become crazy when they don’t eat, we make their meal time horrible unknowingly. They will hate their meal time if mother scolds and pushes food when they don’t want to eat.I tried feeding my children while reading out stories to them, watching ‘food factory’ channel together explaining them how some food is made in a factory. They enjoyed their meal time this way. Making dinner time a family time by chitchatting about the day’s events and relaxing helps kids to eat food happily. Did you try that?
So, these are the reasons why Toddlers are not interested in Food that I found out from my experience. What do you think? Every child is unique and so, every parent’s experience is different. Do let me know in comments if this article helps you in any way.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star
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