Always preferring one kind of food is something that many children do in their first years of life. This “monodiet” should not be a cause for alarm if the little one does not present height and weight problems; But steps must be taken to ensure that the child incorporates the full range of nutrients into his diet.
The passion to appropriate new taste sensations is something that progresses over time; However, it is a process that can begin from the womb, when the flavors of what the mother consumes pass to the amniotic fluid and from there to the fetus, since, from the second trimester of pregnancy, the development of the taste buds.
This information is very important for those interested in conceiving a baby. Be sure to eat a well-varied diet if you don’t want to go through stress after your baby stops breastfeeding and rejects most foods.
But if your baby has already arrived in the world and has passed a year and a half of life and falls right into that category of what is called selective eater, which only accepts a single type of food for weeks and sometimes even for longer periods, with very little alternation, it is time to take some measures, but without despair, especially if the child does not have height, weight and energy problems in their daily activities.
Anxiety is a poor adviser to manage the transition from breastfeeding to a complementary diet, since on the one hand this selectivity is a behavior that usually disappears after the age of five, if parents offer their child a variety of food options and on the other, extreme worry tends to lead to a routine of rewards and punishments that can make the situation worse.
What not to do? If you want to remove your child from the monodiet
– Pretend that your child eats what you do not consume. If you want the little one to come out of a monodiet of white chicken fries, without traces of any vegetables, be the first example of a varied intake. If the child usually only sees pizza in his home and not vegetables and fruits, that will always be his first option.
– Quickly give up offering new dishes and foods, given the initial rejection and for fear that the child will not eat enough, offer him the usual or simply sweets.
– Give prizes and punishments: the act of eating must be voluntary since it even responds to the survival instinct. Trying to resolve any resistance with this type of attitudes can generate a vicious circle and turn against a good diet, since in general the “prizes” are usually sweets, which would be reinforcing the taste for certain types of foods. precisely healthy. The punishment in turn represents a violent act that should not be present.
– Do not talk to third parties, in front of the child, about your child not eating this or that; that will reinforce what he wants to change.
– During the meal, do not allow television or mobile phone to be part of the menu, this will distract you.
– Hunger is the best inducer for your child to eat. Ask your pediatrician if you can give him vitamins to stimulate the appetite, and in turn, avoid candy and soda between meals that only provide empty calories and excess sugar.
What should you do?
– Start putting some of the new food next to another that your child already consumes; If you reject it, don’t be discouraged, sometimes you have to reintroduce them 10-15 times for the child to accept it.
– Allow, especially if it is a small child, to play, taste, touch the new food, to become familiar with it.
– Make your child participate in the purchase of food, take him to the supermarket and let him choose the fruits that he likes the most, nuts, vegetables. Ask him to help you choose them and place them in his bags.
-Apart from a special time to feed him, especially at that stage where he is learning to taste new things; It may take a young child up to 40 minutes to finish his plate of food. If you are tense and worried about finishing quickly, that will not help you.
– From a very young age, children can begin to collaborate in the preparation of food, an option that for experts always gives good results in those who are not appetizing or selective eaters. Sure there are programs in your city to prepare future chefs, in short courses, in which they learn to make simple meals. There are also special cookbooks for them, buy them and make a family recipe that he chooses; you are sure to be more willing to eat what you prepared. There are studies that ensure that children who help their parents to cook consume 76% more vegetables and vegetables, by choice, than those who do not engage in such activity.
– If you have a balcony or space to plant or there is even a nursery close to your home, allow your children to experience the joy of growing seeds, fruits or vegetables; This experience strengthens a beneficial bond with foods that will surely become part of your favorite dishes.
– Be creative, both in the presentation and in the name of your dishes, find that they are fun, that they resemble animals or your favorite characters and that they change from simple peas, to “green dragon eggs”, for example. They like novelty and above all, the game.
– Explain to him the virtues of what he is going to consume, which will make him stronger to play with his friends; that with it, you will not get sick and you will feel happier. Children listen and incorporate that information little by little.
– Involve grandparents and other adults with whom you leave your child and school, if your child goes to the school cafeteria, in this task; He does nothing if he re-educates him at home but when he gets to other places they only give him donuts for food.
The most important key is patience and an awareness that it is a process. If your child is 5 or older eating pretty much the same thing, he won’t quit in just a few days. Creating a new habit is a matter of perseverance!