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The secret to encourage the children to eat well is to establish the habit. A job starts when you add other foods along with milk for around six months old children. For this process to be effective, you must be constant, gradual and patient. Feeding problems appear when a child feel strange with new foods. The sooner you detect the problem, them less complicated remedy must be found. Rocío Ramos Paul, the psychologist and co – author of “My child does not eat”, gives us the keys for our children to have a good diet and learn to clear their dishes at every meal:
1- Establish the habit
Ramos Paul said that as with many others problem, “the best solution is early prevention”. And that is achieved by integrating the habit of eating in children from the start. Keeping a routine and addressing the changes and progress experienced at each age. To achieve this, the expert speaks of three basic rules: “Start every meal in the same way in the same place at the same time”. “If we have a set schedule for five meals, or at least for dinner and breakfast if the rest of the day we are not at home, we will always do in the same place and meet a fixed routine (eg, washing hands , setting the table together, sit all around it and finish all food before removing the table and only then devote to other activities). The child knows what to do in every moment, and automatically the habit is formed” he says.
2- Follow the stages
Children grow up step by step, almost every day, and learning should be in line with this progressive development. Ramos Paul remarked that parents need to pay attention to when children are ready to pass the mashed potatoes and porridges to unprocessed foods to incorporate new flavors and to start using the spoon or fork. “Difficulties arise when children already pass these stages but still can not do the same thing as other kids. If between the age of a year and a half and three years, my son will not try new foods, later other problems will arise, such as refusing to chew or not want to eat more than four things” he says.
3- The bottle to spoon
Ramos Paul also gives practical advice to move from one stage to another. The first big jump is from bottle to spoon feeding. “Some kids reject it. In these cases, we give them a couple of tablespoons, waited a couple of minutes and try again. If the child refuses to eat, try the next day. With patience, you always get what you want. When you have to leave purees and baby food to pass unprocessed foods, you should start with small pieces in the same mash. Also, experts recommend “rallar cookie in milk or fruit or bread crumbs include food or pieces of white fish, ham or cheese for chewing skill.”
4- Duration of the meals
According to the experts, “meals should not last less than 20 minutes and not more than 40”. If they are very fast, they are not good for digestion. And if it last for too long it may be a way for the child to get attention from their parents.
5- Varying food
Children should keep trying new foods. Always follow the advice of your pediatrician regarding at what age to introduce new food and how much. Again, Ramos Paul says that “we must form the habit,” but he also warns that you should “sit with the child.” “To incorporate new flavors, parents must go gradually” he adds. “If your child like fruit, we give him once a week, then twice, and later we add a second fruit, and so we move forward.” “Or if your child does not like something, give some of that along with other food. Encourage him to try it at least and incorporate new products weekly or every 15 days ” he says. And he recognizes that “despite parents’ efforts, there are times and ages in which trying new foods is difficult evolutionary. It gives them fear for survival instinct. There must be the companion. For more tips on your kids, visit familygrowthblog.com
6- No reward system
“You should not use the reward system for food” said Ramos-Paul. “It is a habit that must be integrated from a routine, not as part of a negotiation” he adds. “At one point, he notes, we can use the prize to reward him for face his fears. For example, let him choose the dessert from a number of options if he has been brave and has tried some new flavor”.
7- Do not take this too seriously
Ramos-Paul asks parents not to be obsessed with feeding the child with the same amount, especially after the first year. “There is a time when they stop growing as quickly and therefore do not need as much caloric intake,” he says. “There are mothers who worry as the child does not eat as much as before. But the truth is that they no longer need as much food.” A few weeks ago the journal Pediatrics published a study says that children who continue bottle feeding beyond the first 12 months have a higher risk of childhood obesity. The expert explains that this is precisely due to the concern of parents although they are eating enough, which often leads them to fall into the supercharger. Parents must ask the pediatricians, who know very well when things are going well or poorly for advice.
8- Teach the kid by being an example
“Parents are role models for their children in everything, including eating and this must be taken into account” says the psychologist. He warns: “I can not expect my child to eat fruit if they never see their parents doing so, especially after four years, when they begin to question everything. So you need to make an effort to eat all the healthy food with him or her”