“Come on, one more teaspoon!” Does it sound familiar to you? Discover amazing reasons why you shouldn’t force your child to eat.
Most of us have heard phrases like “don’t ever get up from the dining room until you finish your plate” , as this was very common in our mothers and grandmothers. When we were children, these phrases were very everyday to be able to pressure the little ones to eat as completely and healthily as possible.
Despite being something quite common, in recent years this idea of forcing children to eat has been decreasing, as it is somewhat shocking for some current parents as they consider it a fairly invasive and aggressive practice for the autonomy and integrity of their little ones. .
“Just a little more”
According to a study called «Just three more tablespoons more », carried out by scientists from the University of California, 85% of parents insist until they get their children to eat everything, even if they do not want to eat more. This is quite worrying as it can bring complications for children in the future.
According to nutrition experts, the nutrients that each person needs can vary at any stage of life and from one individual to another, and therefore their needs for food groups must be in different composition and quantity. Therefore, each little one is a universe, and their nutritional needs and way of eating too.
Before forcing, better consult
Based on the above knowledge, it is difficult to determine correctly how much our children should eat at each stage, but it is much easier to see that it is a mistake force to eat children, as they could be being overfed.
The best thing is to go directly to a pediatrician or specialist who indicates the correct diet for our little one, according to their body mass index and age, since this will prevent our child from long-term health problems.
Pediatricians use techniques that are specific to improve infant feeding gradually, for example: with well-organized and structured meals. And they recommend that if possible, young children should be included in every meal at the table with the family and avoid distractions such as screens or cell phones.
It is also important to note that sitting the child in a correct and comfortable position is optimal, as it prevents them from choking and favors children start eating with cutlery.
Reasons not to force eating
We present you a list of concrete reasons that exemplify why we should not insist that our little one eat more.
1 Hour of torture
If we force to eat, with this action we will probably be able to make the delicious mealtime become the hour of torture, causing the little one to have less and less desire to see a plate of food nearby. And with each tantrum, our patience becomes weaker.
2 Bad time for the whole family
Making food a bad time affects our family in general. The annoyance of the little one also affects the emotions of others at mealtime, and can affect the way in which our child relates to other members of the family, such as his siblings, in a very negative way.
Even in other types of social contexts such as restaurants, forcing to eat is very harmful, since it is really uncomfortable for parents when children start to throw food and everyone is looking.
3 Eating habits and obesity
Eating habits are formed when we are children and very strongly guided by those of our parents. This does not mean that our parents (now grandparents of our children) were totally well informed as to the correct amounts that they gave us.
But by forcing our children to eat we could be motivating them to lead a life with excess food that could lead to childhood obesity. Even, according to scientific studies, it was established that in most cases of overweight and obesity, they begin in early childhood and that every day more children, young people and adults in the world suffer from them.
4 Wrong message
When you make your child eat what he no longer wants, you are sending him the wrong message that an adult can make decisions about his body, which could make him feel like he cannot decide about himself.
This would be stopping their growth and autonomy, since we would be taking away the opportunity to discover their feeling of satiety and hunger in a healthy and natural way.
Actually, the best thing is to listen to them, and respect their decisions, and the best we can do for them is to offer the appropriate portions according to the specialist’s indications, as it is very important to also take into account that on days with greater activity they may have more appetite than others.
And you, do you force your children to eat?