Nutrition is the first thing the child comes into contact with his parents. It is important for its physical, as well as later social development. The way it is fed affects its emotional development. In fact, with the diet, the child experiences intense stimuli for the first time through the sense of taste and feeling of satiety.
The Relationship between the Child and Mother
For proper physical development, it is important that the child receives a sufficient amount of food and properly prepares meals. And for its later social development. It is important that the mother is more likely to be in physical contact with him, in order to feel a love which as an emotion plays important role in shaping the character.
Nutritional Management of the Newborn
The number of meals will depend on the state of health and satiety of the newborn. If the child is visibly well-fed and does not react nervously due to a lack of food (lactation), five meals a day is sufficient. Most often, the pediatrician determines the child’s diet by regular controls, and the mother should be consistent with those recommendations.
The Child Should Not Be Fed according to a Pre-established Regime?
There are experts who claim that the child should not be fed according to a pre-established regime. They believe that this is a kind of coercion, and every compulsory measure is an obstacle to its emotional development. The claims go so far as they say that the discontent of the child due to untimely meals leaves a trail that implants a negative psychological experience.
However, these claims are inconsistent with the physiology of the child, neither with the principles of appropriate upbringing nor with any other life necessity. Therefore, such claims are considered to be wrong. Primarily, surely we will not let the baby cry because it’s hungry, knowing that such an intensely unpleasant feeling due to starvation leaves consequences in its psychological development. But that does not mean that we should abandon the principles of the proper upbringing and any other order in the nutrition because of such claims.
The Number of Meals
The baby’s weeping because of hunger can be avoided if the amount of milk that the child receives while breastfeeding during each meal is regularly controlled. If the baby is constantly crying, the very long period before the next meal, then it is a warning that the quantity of meals (milk) is too little. Consultations with a pediatrician will demonstrate whether it is more appropriate to preserve the formula or to reduce the time interval between meals.
The Effect of Overloading on the Stomach and Intestine
For normal function of the stomach and intestines, they need to work with a certain rhythm, according to the principle of proper, proportional and timely diet. If the next meal is taken before the previous one is processed, then the organs are overloaded and various disruptions to their functions occur. In doing so, the child experiences as unpleasant stimuli in the stomach, and the result is anxiety, crying, vomiting, restless sleep or diarrhea.
Physiological Rhythm of Newborns
Physiological rhythm also occurs in other life functions of the newborn, e.g. in the cycle when the child is awake and sleeping. In this way, the child prepares for a proper cycle of eating and sleep, which will be characteristic for its whole life. If from the start a child develops a habit of night meals, then this habit is very difficult to root out later.
Consistency in the Baby’s Diet
The inconsistency in the baby’s diet is a considerable major educational mistake that is detrimental to the child’s further development and is due to the parents’ excessive leniency towards him. Incompatibility also contributes to a sub-segment of overriding irregularities. If parents are not consistent with the rules that impose order at the outset, it will be much harder later.
Breastfeeding: An Important Moment of Parental Control
Breastfeeding is the first chance when a mother can awaken the positive experiences and emotions of a child. Physical contact between mother and child during breastfeeding is of paramount importance to the child. All of this is the foundation of the emotional capital that will later enable the child to love other people, adapt, and become a socially useful person.
The New Challenge of Breastfeeding in a Child: Adaptation to a Mixed Diet
Every child has different needs to adapt to the new diet, some children adapt faster, others slower, there is no rule here. By stopping breastfeeding and switching to a mixed diet, the child faces a new challenge, which is not as small as parents think. The child should get used to the type of food such as soup, porridge, and other types of pasta.
The Parental Duty to Be Patient in the Transition of an Adjustment
The duty of the parents is to be patient and not do any pressure on speeding up the transition period of the adjustment. If the child does not like some taste of a meal, the parents should not insist on eating the whole meal. It should be allowed to stay hungry. In doing so, with this measure, the child will realize something useful, it will get acquainted with the natural consequences of refusing to eat. And when the food is offered again, he will eat the food that he had refused some time ago.
Feeding and Its Effects on the Child
The act of feeding should be accompanied by the optimism of creating a pleasant atmosphere, perhaps with a dose of humor or another inventive way for the child to experience it as enjoyable. If, however, the child refuses to eat, there should be no pressure on it by raising the voice, anger, or reproach. On the next attempt when the child is offered the same meal, the chances of eating it are increasing drastically because it does not associate that taste with the unpleasant experience gained due to the previous pressure from the first or second attempt.
A Parental Approach to a Child’s Feeding
Many parents are too frightened, nervous, or rude while feeding their children. Frequently they use force if the child refuses. As a method of force, their nose is squeezed to open their mouth and start eating or drinking what is left. Due to such pressure, the meal ends with the child’s weeping, groping, or vomiting.
Children are affected by a diet that causes them to feel uncomfortable and afraid because of the violent behavior of their parents. Such actions cause resistance to food that can become so strong that prevails even the natural urge for food. An unpleasant eating experience can reduce the appetite or completely destroy it. At the outset, such violence is limited to a diet but gradually spreads over time to the rest of everyday life.
Acute and Intense Resistance to Food
Many parents do not pay attention to the consequences of eating by force, such as vomiting, and then they become more severe, thinking they were too lenient toward the child. Then the child’s diet turns into infinite torture that sometimes has the features of sadism. The conflict between the child and the parents deepens if the child is forced to continue eating.
An Extreme Example
There are instances when the mother overheats the same dish several times and forces the child to finish its portion that has lost the taste of the food has turned bad. Or, as an extreme example, when a parent makes the child eat what it has vomited.
Psychogenic Dietary Brake and Its Implications on the Health of the Child
A psychogenic dietary brake, a single lack of appetite caused by negative emotions, leaves lasting consequences on the function of the stomach. Many cases of poor gastric food processing or excessive secretion of gastric acid are of psychogenetic origin. The long-term conflict between the child and the parents due to the diet often results in chronic malnutrition that can lead to serious endangerment of his health.
The Mothers’ Attempt to Accelerate the Adaptation of the Child to a New Type and Diet
There are other negative examples when parents try to speed up the adaptation of the child to the new type and diet. Sometimes they beg the child to eat his meal, flattering it with various promises, they tell stories, sing songs, or perform whole performances in front of them, just to make them eat. Or, during one meal, the mother repeatedly changes the type of food, until the child decides to eat some of the food that is offered.
The Effect of the Tolerance on the Diet and the Parent’s Authority over the Childs Diet
When a child is too much tolerated about the diet, it understands it as a way to play with the parents, not as a natural need for food, and in the same time, the parents lose their authority over it in the process. Such acts, in turn, reflect excessive leniency and unnecessary spoiling of the child.
An Opportunistic Child
An intelligent child can lead parents to senseless actions. Typical examples are when the child will make the closest, most often grandmother, grandfather, and parents compete who will satisfy its whimsicalities. The child is an opportunist by nature and is usually driven by the line of lower resistance. Once it succeeds to impose itself on the surroundings, it will tend to keep on that situation in the family at any cost.
Trying to Avoid the Kind of Food a Child Eats in a Magic Circle
When a child does not sit on a table as it should, and one of the parents tries to make it take a bite, then the child complains about the type of food and starts picking. When it is offered a new kind of food, it also asks for something completely new, just to avoid eating. Often such a magical circle ends with frustration both with parents and the child, and the parents, because patience is already lost.
If a child is old enough, one should be allowed to feed himself without anyone’s help. Parents need, calmly and without raising their voice, but with a dose of seriousness, to warn them that this is not the way they should behave while at the table. Perhaps a suitable joke will help to understand the concept of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Parents should remove food from the table if their child behaves badly in front of others, as a sign that they count on the others to behave. Parents should remain calm and explain why the food has been removed, and if the child protests, parents should not react. If the child insists on the provocations, because there’s not a reaction to its whimsicality –to make the others do what it wants, then the parents should remove it from the room.
When a child is removed from the dining table or from the room, due to undisciplined behavior, it is necessary to be given the opportunity to correct it. If the parents see that the child understands the newly emerged situation, then it is okay to offer him again to return to their place and to continue with the unfinished meal.
If a child refuses food at a regular meal, their plate should be removed and the parents should refrain from any quarrel about their defiance. Instead, parents should leave the child to wait for the next regular meal – without getting a meal if he requests it. If he asks for it, should be ignored. With this measure, parents can expect that at the next meal the child will have an appetite if in the meantime they did not give him anything else to soothe the appetite, and by that he will not eat his next meal.
With these procedures, parents carry out several important settings for the child’s proper upbringing:
- They allow the child to feel the natural consequences of his inappropriate behavior (in this case – hunger)
- They avoid personal conflict with the child without fuss and quarrel
- They preserve their authority over the child for consistency in the decisions they’ve made
- They give the child the opportunity to correct and preserve his reputation and self-esteem
Mischief during Dinner and Eating
Sometimes, children’s mischief while at the table and eating can be interrupted with a kind of humorous thought that a child does not expect and thus distract them from what they are doing in order to focus on the reason for sitting there, and all this to pass without the use of coercion or the use of parental authority.
A New Opportunity to Learn
During the second year of life, the child is already beginning to show an initiative to feed itself. Parents should not force, because the self-initiative is the surest sign that the psychological apparatus is ready to accept, perfect and practice this activity. At the moment when the child has already expressed a desire to learn something new, it should be supported and given the opportunity to perfect that activity.
The Child’s First Step to Eat on the Table
When a child first takes his hand to put at least two or three teaspoons of food in his mouth, the child will be extremely indulgent and with that minimal success. Parents must be patient and should not be disturbed if the child has stopped themselves or the table they eat on. Of course, for such small successes, parents need to praise and encourage the full upgrading of this skill. Soon he will master the technique and become an equal individual with the rest of the family members at the dining table.
Nutritional Adjustment of the Child
In order to maintain the child’s appetite, parents need to adjust the amount of food to the individual needs of the child. The more the child moves away from breastfeeding, the slower it grows. In addition, each child has a different metabolism. A child with faster metabolism needs more food than a child with a slower metabolism.
The Child’s Universal Feeding Chart: Is It Unnatural?
It is not possible for each child to determine in advance how much food is needed for a certain age per meal. If we offer the child to eat, and without any coercion, it will, instinctively, eat as much as it needs. Rigorous compliance with a nutrition scheme is unnatural and is therefore wrong. Such charts may suggest that parents forcefully impose excessive amounts of food than the child needs, or vice versa, to deprive him of the meal.
The Menu for Healthy Children
Every child in the menu finds its favorite dishes and dishes that it dislikes. Parents should stick to the principle of versatility in the practice, rather than be guided by a line of lower resistance. The monotonous food is incomplete. There is no meal that contains all the necessary nutrients for normal growth and development.
Food Preparation, Food Acceptance
Food should be well-prepared and tasty, for the child to accept it. If the food is insipid, surely it will reject it. Parents can motivate both the child and vice versa, the overwhelming parents can also demotivate with their example.
The Effects Outdoor Activities on the Appetite of a Child
A child who rests and stays indoors usually has a lower appetite than a child who is active and outdoors. Sugar-rich dishes also contribute to reduced appetite, which the child eats between meals, such as candy, chocolate, and the like. Fresh air also contributes to the good appetite of a child.
Lack of Appetite: A Rare Sign of Illness and Its Significance
Lack of appetite can be the first sign that a child is ill, and should not be forced to eat. Frequent are the cases when the child does not eat because of fatigue, either physical or psychic. Sometimes school problems may also be a cause of decreased appetite, such as failure and disappointment.
Therefore, parents needs to know their child well so that they can act promptly and appropriately, and for any doubt and uncertainty about their behavior, to consult a pediatrician in a timely manner.