How to make your kids want to eat? | Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

How to make your kids want to eat?

allowing your child eat independently make eating more interesting.

Nutritious food is important. Adequate nutrition helps children to grow and develop optimally. Characteristics of children who have optimal growth are children who have gained sufficient weight, height, or length of weight gain. To find out whether our child is growing appropriately, parents are advised to always check the child's growth chart, for example by checking the child's weight whether it is in accordance with the weight gain chart according to the chart from the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

Often parents feel overwhelmed if the kids don’t want to eat. There is also the term silence movement or commonly referred to as GTM. This means that the child closes or refuses food with his hands when he is given food or is fed food. 

 

There are several ways that are suggested to help children to want to eat.

 

Perform feeding rules

The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) suggests feeding rules based on research by Bonnin. The recommended feeding rules are, 

  1. Schedule main meals and snacks on a regular basis.
  2. Feeding should not take more than 30 minutes.
  3. Do not offer other snacks at mealtime except for a drink.
  4. Give food in small portions
  5. Start with the main meal first before drinking
  6. If the child shows signs of refusal to eat, offer food neutrally and without forcing the kids.
  7. If until 10-15 minutes the child refuses to eat, end the eating process
  8. Only clean the mouth when the child is finished eating

 

Environmental Roles

A positive and responsive environment also plays a role in helping children to want to eat. IDAI recommends the following:

  1. A pleasant environment where there is no coercion for children to eat
  2. No distractions from toys and gadgets (TV, cell phone) while eating
  3. Do not give food as a gift

 

Giving first-then Instruction

Giving proper instructions can also help children who already understand instructions to eat more. The principle of first instruction behavior The application of these feeding rules is of course not easy, but it needs to be done consistently so that children's eating patterns are formed. Children will eat for the rest of their lives until they grow up. It doesn't matter if there are rejections and difficulties when learning, this is part of children learning to eat. 

 

It is not recommended for parents to give milk continuously as a meal replacement. Milk, either breast milk or formula milk, can only meet the caloric needs of children up to 5 months of age, when children are 6 months old they need complementary foods or commonly known as complementary foods to help meet children's nutritional needs (MPASI). If you really want to be given meal replacement milk, this needs a recommendation from a pediatrician before doing it.

 

Each child has their own characteristics. The approach to make children interested in eating and likes to eat is different for each child. It is  recommended to eat together with the family. This allows children to imitate when their parents eat and makes eating more interesting. If parents experience ongoing difficulties, such as difficulty implementing feeding rules, or difficulty getting their child to eat even though they have been given feeding rules consistently, consult your pediatrician immediately.


 

Written by: Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from @BehaviorPALS center

 

Bibliography:

Bernard-Bonnin, A. Feeding problems of infants and toddlers. Can Fam Physician. 2006;52:1247-51.

https://www.idai.or.id/article/klinik/pengasuhan-child/difficult-mekan-pada-babi-dan-anak


 

feeding rules, baby eat

Baby 6 Months - 18 Months / Bayi 6 - 18 Bulan / Physical Development / Tumbuh Kembang Fisik / Health / Kesehatan / How to make your kids want to eat?

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