Nutrition: help, my child doesn’t want to eat!
Saralie refuses to take a bite of her shepherd's pie, yet the last time she ate it, she devoured the contents of her plate in two minutes. Elliot, for his part, refuses to eat cooked vegetables. Then there’s Liam, who has had a bird-like appetite for weeks, and barely touches his plate.
Many families experience these situations on a daily basis. As parents, we want what's best for our child. So what should we do when our child refuses to eat?
During the first 12 months of their life, your child’s weight triples, and their height doubles. Then, their growth slows. It is therefore quite normal for their appetite to decrease.
Your child will never let themselves die of hunger. He or she does what their body dictates. If they are hungry, they will eat; if they are not hungry, they will eat very little. They will simply eat during the next meal.
We offer, they decide
Your role is to provide your child with healthy and varied food. Afterwards, the ball is in their court. Even if it's difficult, let them discover each food at their own pace.
Remember: you can offer them the same food 5, 10, 15, even 20 times before they begin to like it. And it's possible that their taste buds will never adapt to it.
No use in forcing it
You can, and should, ask your child to taste a food that they do not like. If they do not try it, they will not develop their tastes. However, you should never force them to eat all of their chicken or broccoli. The result? Endless bickering and the risk of them detesting that food forever.
"If you don’t finish your plate, you won’t get dessert!” Dessert is neither a reward nor a tool for blackmail. It is part of the meal. So if your child refuses to eat their lasagna but wants fruit, yogurt or a healthy homemade cookie for dessert, so be it. They will at least have something healthy in their stomach.
- Do you know why and how BiMoo was born? Its founder, a mother, was concerned to see her 23-month-old child eating so little. Find out more about how BiMoo was born, its products and its illustrators.
A few tips to get them to eat
- Offer them a snack more than two hours before a meal.
- Give them water or milk towards the end of the meal.
- Never offer them a different meal if they refuse to eat the one that was cooked for the family. The more you give in to their demands, the harder it will be.
- Combine the rejected food with a food they already like, without camouflaging it. i.e. taste the cauliflower (food they don’t like) combined with the mashed potatoes.
- Offer rejected dishes about once a month.
- Always present the food in the same way so that they recognize it each time. For your little one, a cooked carrot and carrot soup are not the same thing.
In a nutshell…
Never make threats.
Make mealtime a pleasant moment with BiMoo tablecloths!