Eating problems seen in children aged 0 -6 years

Problems in eating behavior in children may be caused by a combination of genetic, psychological and social factors. Eating problems in children often begin to appear in the pre-school period and disappear spontaneously with the transition to adolescence. If the problem of very limited eating or refusing to eat completely is not resolved in a short time, it may cause problems in the physiological development of the child and may require psychological support. It can usually be seen together with moods, attitudes and behaviors such as depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviors, fear and/or refusal to go to school.

So what should I do?

Take a small break for 3 or 5 days to change your own behavior. Don’t put pressure on your child about food, stop feeling bad about yourself and set a flow according to your child’s preferences about food. For example, don’t offer food unless he wants to eat. Identify the foods your child demands when hungry. For example, does he want food or snacks, does he want a drink instead of a meal? Does it offer suggestions on food choices, what time of the day does he want to eat, how many hours apart does he get hungry?

Identifying these types of situations can provide clues as to the underlying cause of your child not eating. For example, if your child wants to have breakfast 2 hours after getting up in the morning and eats only certain things, it shows that he does not feel hungry right after waking up and that there are foods that he prioritizes instead of trying everything. For example, if he stays hungry all day and wants to eat ready-made foods such as chocolate and biscuits, this shows that he is used to eating more snacks, which is the subject that needs to be studied. In this process, it is important to stay calm and move away from discussion, to an analytical position and to map the situation. No one gets sick because they starve for 3 or 5 days or because they are malnourished. Do not be afraid and act with willpower.

A hungry person, whether it is a small baby or a large child or even an adult, will eat if there is no other reason behind it. Because hunger is the most basic need that we living beings need to meet. It is not possible to endure hunger for long. So one of the first things we need to do is to let the child feel hunger. Children who eat often refuse to eat at main meals.

Therefore, arranging feeding times can be an ideal way to overcome the problem. Snacks should be given after the main meals and their amount should be limited. The fact that children do not switch to lumpy and grainy foods on time may turn into an eating problem as age progresses. Children who are fed only liquid and puree form in the early period may have difficulty in eating lumpy foods after 1 year of age. The truth is to introduce children to lumpy foods at an early stage. If this process has passed and your child is not used to lumpy foods, it is necessary to gradually rearrange their eating habits. It is necessary to give grains only in the form of grain foods. For example, if your child eats the grains in soup or watery food in a spoon, it may make it difficult for him to control it. Children, for example, can be given grains of legumes and taught to chew and control them in their mouth. Dry grain foods such as pasta and rice can also facilitate the process. What needs to be considered here is the transition from dry grain to juicy grained foods. As with children who gag and vomit, children who cannot get used to lumpy foods should also be examined by a specialist to see if there is a problem in throat health.

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